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Ben Affleck Looks Back at Jennifer Lopez Romance: My Career Bombed Amid Our Split

Still a sore subject. Ben Affleck opened up about how his career took a turn for the worse amid the Bennifer days during an appearance on Bill SimmonsAny Given Wednesday this week.

“If you went by what people said … I wasn’t cool and I wasn’t talented, and I was, like, the lowest rung of cool and talented that you could possibly be in the public consciousness at that time,” Affleck, 43, said during the sports talk show on Wednesday, June 22. “I had broken up with Jennifer Lopez and I had, like, three or four movies in a row that had bombed.”

Related: PHOTOS: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: The Way They Were

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice actor and Lopez, 46, called off their engagement in 2004 after two years of dating. Around that time, Affleck’s movie career began to unravel following box-office bombs such as the pair’s 2003 flick, Gigli, and Affleck’s 2004 romantic comedy Jersey Girl.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the premiere of ‘Gigli’ in 2003.

The Argo director’s low ticket sales weren’t the only problem, though. The star recalled being “so uncool” that he was once the punch line in a United Airlines clip that comedian Robert Wuhl recorded.

Related: PHOTOS: Stars As Superheroes

“So that guy had to look around and go, ‘Who’s below me that I can s–t on?’ And he picked me. He did a whole bit about me that I saw on United Airlines and I [thought], This is it, it really doesn’t get much worse than this,” Affleck told Simmons. “That was where I found myself when I thought, Hey, I want to take up directing, which is for people that are taken seriously. That became my mantra — ‘I’m just going to work harder than everybody else.'”

Affleck’s decision and determination paid off. He went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture for his work on 2012’s Argo and earned accolades for directing movies including The Town and Gone Baby Gone. (He previously won an Academy Award for screenwriting with BFF Matt Damon for 1997’s Good Will Hunting.)

Related: PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez's Ageless Moments Through the Years!

Affleck doesn’t take all the credit for his recent success, though. “My wife was really instrumental and helpful in me doing a lot of that work because I was just so focused [on it] and it was harder to balance family and all that,” he told Simmons. Affleck and his estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, split after 10 years of marriage in June 2015. They continue to raise daughters Violet, 10, and Seraphina, 7, and son Samuel, 4, together.

Affleck was just as vocal about Tom Brady‘s Deflategate on Wednesday. He went off in a curse-filled rant about how the New England Patriots quarterback was treated since the scandal began last year.

Tune in to Us Weekly’s Facebook Live News Update at 1:30PM ET today and watch Christina Garibaldi and Ian Drew discuss all the latest on this story!

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