In the new film The Way Back, Ben Affleck plays an alcoholic basketball coach trying to get his life back. Recently, he visited Mosaic Church to talk about the film with pastor Erwin McManus. But, he also discussed his own career, legacy and real-life ups and downs—and the role that faith has played in his life.
Affleck said that church is a major part of his life, and he still attends weekly with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner and their children. However, he acknowledged a sometimes conflicted relationship with faith.
“Faith is something I have, and it’s also something that has been a struggle for me,” he said. “Going to church … I really find Christian teaching beautiful and moving. The hard thing for me, when I struggle, when I suffer, when I see things that are painful, I have doubts. How is there a God that allows this to happen?”
However, he said that being a part of a 12-step program helped him to re-understand faith.
“One of the things somebody said to me once was like, ‘You don’t need to ultimately be sure. You need to seek. Can you seek God? Can you look for God?’” he explained. “And the more I did that and the more I allowed it to become something didn’t have to be a final determination or me saying I have the answer or I know what’s right, but just a search for a higher power, for a higher mission, for a higher meaning, for what was really important in life and the world and for a God, that started to connect me [more deeply] to faith. And that faith has served me well in recovery as an alcoholic.”
It’s a compelling and surprisingly vulnerable, conversation.
Here’s the latest clip from the film, which releases tomorrow: