Ben Affleck stars in the film The Way Back, which tells the story of a man recovering from alcohol addiction while coaching a rag-tag high school basketball team. While promoting the film, Affleck has opened up about his recent alcohol addiction and recovery journey. “I started to drink every day. I mean, I’d come home from work and start to drink. And then I’d sit there and drink until I pass[ed] out on the couch,” he told Good Morning America.
His revelations have come in multiple interviews leading up to the film’s March 6 release. In The Way Back, Affleck plays alcoholic Jack Cunningham, a former high school basketball star whose alma mater needs him to coach the current team. Certain scenes depict his around-the-clock drinking, estrangement from his ex-wife and an underlying past trauma which Cunningham can’t overcome. His alcohol recovery coincides with his coaching of the young basketball players who need his guidance to become a team.
Jack Cunningham’s alcohol recovery also seems to reflect Ben Affleck’s past alcohol recovery.
Boston.com describes the actor’s comments during the film’s promotional tour, also referencing an intimate New York Times interview with Affleck. “People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this basic kind of discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away,” he explained. He had to confront the fact that he was an alcoholic. And first it meant his divorce with actress Jennifer Garner. “What happened was that I was drinking more and more as my marriage fell apart … My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.” The actor had attended alcohol rehab in 2017, and he returned for another treatment program in 2018, reported HuffPost.
Director Gavin O’Connor recalls how during filming, he could see the actor working through his own recovery. “It was startling and powerful,” O’Connor said. “I think that was [Affleck].” Vox and Roger Ebert have reviewed the film as a strong story, one anchored by Affleck’s courageous, unflinching performance. Apparently, The Way Back triumphs as both a sports and recovery film.
See about catching The Way Back in theaters, since it should continue playing for the next few weeks. Or, if you don’t like films (or Ben Affleck), stick around In The Rooms. If you join today, you’ll have access to our online recovery meetings and our worldwide recovery community. Why not learn how we can serve you and your recovery?
Image from Vox