George Clooney was looking out for his friend Ben Affleck during the filming of their new movie, “The Tender Bar.”
The Clooney-directed drama, which hits theaters Dec. 17 and Amazon Prime on Jan. 7, is largely set at a bar, where the main characters spend much of their screen time hanging out. But the 60-year-old was anxious to shoot with Affleck, 49, in such a place due to his past struggles with alcoholism.
In a new interview with The Times of London, Clooney said he was “worried” that the bar would be a triggering place for the “Argo” director as he is a “recovering alcoholic.”
Affleck checked into rehab for the first time in 2001 and admitted last year in a New York Times interview that his drinking problems escalated during the end of his marriage to his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner. The Oscar winner and the “Alias” star were married from 2005 to 2015.
“I drank relatively normally for a long time,” Affleck told the publication. “What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.” Affleck then entered rehab again in 2017 and in 2018.
Following a rehab stint in August 2018, the father of three wrote a lengthy social media post about his treatment. “The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. It’s given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others,” he wrote. “Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family.”
The “Good Will Hunting” screenwriter continued, “As I’ve had to remind myself, if you have a problem, getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure. With acceptance and humility, I continue to avail myself with the help of so many people and I am grateful to all those who are there for me. I hope down the road I can offer an example to others who are struggling.”
Elsewhere in Clooney’s Times of London interview, the “Ocean’s Eleven” star reflected on his near-fatal motorcycle crash, which occurred in 2018.
The “ER” star admitted that he was convinced he would die with strangers crowding around him filming instead of helping him.
“If you’re in the public eye, what you realize when you’re on the ground thinking it’s the last minute of your life is that, for some people, it’s just going to be entertainment for their Facebook page,” he said.
Clooney added, “I’m a pretty positive guy, but that told me — clearly — that you really are here just for their entertainment. I was waiting for my switch to turn off.”
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