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Ben Affleck Thinks Kissing a Man Made Him a Real Actor

At a 20th anniversary screening of Chasing Amy at Outfest this weekend, Kevin Smith revealed that kissing Jason Lee made Ben Affleck feel like a serious actor, adding that Affleck said “A man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face.” As someone who has kissed a few men, it’s really not that much more difficult than kissing a woman. I’d certainly rank it below being able to cry on cue in terms of difficulty.

This wasn’t all that uncommon an attitude in the late 90’s, where all you had to do to win an Oscar was be a straight actor playing a gay character. You know, unless an awful movie with a heavy-handed message about racism starring Don Cheadle came along, then you were just out of luck. And by the way, if you’re going to make a movie about how difficult it was to be a gay cowboy, set it in the 1880’s and not the 1980’s and maybe you’ll get that Best Picture Oscar.

Chasing Amy isn’t Kevin Smith’s most successful film, and it’s probably not his best film, but it’s absolutely his most human film. Ben Affleck plays Holden, a disaffected comic book artist who falls in love with bisexual indie comic artist Alyssa Jones, played by Joey Lauren Adams. The film focuses on how their relationship is affected by Holden’s inability to accept Alyssa’s past and how it affects his friendship with Banky, with whom he writes his comic, Bluntman and Chronic. Smith went on to write and direct a movie about Nazi bratwurst that come to life and attack a convenience store and Ben Affleck, serious actor, runs around in a cape.

After the screening, Kevin Smith’s daughter Harley told him “You were so young once!”

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