Lessons learned. Ben Affleck revealed how an early experience he had with marijuana impacted his behavior on the Dazed and Confused set.
In a new book titled Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Affleck reflected on his time making the 1993 flick in Austin, Texas. The Way Back actor, 48, shared that he didn’t partake in the same level of drug and alcohol use as his costars.
“I had a bad experience with marijuana at 15. I had a dissociative panic attack,” Affleck, who played Fred O’Bannion in the movie at age 19, explained. “So, I only smoked weed if everyone else was smoking, and I had to sort of ‘Bill Clinton’ it and fake it. I didn’t really like marijuana.”
The Oscar winner added, “I also wasn’t a very heavy drinker then. I became an alcoholic much, much later, and I’m in recovery now, so that was a whole different time. I was a little nervous, like, ‘Should we be drinking before we’re working tomorrow?’ Some people were actually drinking and getting stoned at work.”
As for the other shenanigans the cast got into, Affleck revealed that he adopted a Siberian Husky unbeknownst to the crew. He also shared that the cast would hit up the local shooting range — an activity he has since adopted a different perspective on.
“Texas had extremely lax gun laws and most of us came from states where it was next to impossible to buy guns,” he explained. “So, part of the newfound freedom of being down there was that a bunch of us bought guns and went shooting at ranges on weekends, which seemed fun and innocent at the time, but given the subsequent tragedies with young people and guns, it now makes me uncomfortable to remember.”
Written and directed by Richard Linklater, Dazed and Confused followed a group of high schoolers in Austin celebrating their last day of school in 1976. In addition to Affleck, the coming-of-age comedy starred the likes of Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey and Adam Goldberg.
Nearly 10 years after the iconic stoner film’s release, Affleck chose to get sober in 2001. However, earlier this year, he revealed on Good Morning America that he wanted to “just drink like a normal person” and did so for about eight years.
“I started to drink more, and more, and more. And it was really hard for me to accept that that meant that I was an alcoholic,” he said in February. “I was like, ‘I could just go back. I was fine before. You know, I just need to take a break. I just need to slow down.’”
Affleck shares children, Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, 8, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner. He is currently dating Ana de Armas.
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