Pearl Harbour star Ben Affleck was seen doing his bit for society recently when he visited theDemocratic Republic of Congo to continue with his charity work.
In 2010, the star founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, a foundation which focuses on helping the most disadvantaged people in the region. The charity seeks to represent those who are victims of violence, poverty and disease.
Affleck says of his work: “I had a sort of subconsciously laboured under this delusion that’s fostered here when we see images of Africans. You know, waiting for a handout. And these were people who in particular were doing that work for themselves in an extremely smart and dedicated way.”
It’s certainly a case of life imitating art for California-born Ben then, who has had a multitude of heroic roles throughout his lifetime both on and off-screen. In 2001, he was fighting for his country as Captain Rafe McCawley in Pearl Harbour. Two years later he was leather-clad in the somewhat less successful Daredevil, and today, he’s stepping into the role of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Being a hero isn’t the only example of the star blurring the lines between reality and the silver screen, however. In 2013, he joined forces with Justin Timberlake to star in Runner Runner, the story of an ill-fated online poker game which had disastrous consequences.
Indeed, Affleck’s poker-playing background may have been instrumental in casting him in the role – while unlike the film, he’s not a fan of digital games, in reality he’s quite a regular at the poker table. In fact, the Good Will Hunting star participated in the 2003 Celebrity Poker Showdown, and followed this up with an incredible win at the California State Poker Championship in 2004, earning him a tidy $356,400.
Of course, Affleck’s much-loved habit has landed him in hot water several times. It was certainly frowned upon by his former wife Jennifer Lopez, but even more so the casinos which he so often likes to frequent. In fact, earlier this year, Affleck was politely asked to leave one of his favourite Las Vegas casinos, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, after being seen counting cards. Representatives at the casino said Mr Affleck was still a valued customer and they would happily see him walking through the doors again.
With such a high profile to maintain and philanthropic work to pursue, Affleck was lucky in this case – but he should be wary in future if life continues to imitate art any more.