Belfast Telegraph

Why Ben’s not just a pretty face

By Gail Walker

Well, there’s hope for the pretty boys yet.

Step forward Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey.

Only a short while ago both were standing jokes — Affleck was best known for being Jennifer Lopez’s trophy beau and his movie Gigli seemed destined for a rapid descent into the ‘Where Are the Now' bin. He was a Hollywood Andrew Ridgeley to Matt Damon's George Michael.

McConaughey was famous for essentially being something of a mannequin, having starred in a series of instantly forgettable rom-coms, most of which seemed to have publicity posters featuring the actor leaning impishly against his latest co-star. Failure to Launch? Fool's Gold? How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, anybody? Anybody?...

In other words, a kind of male Jennifer Aniston. Pretty to look at but — the odd film apart — destined to star in an endless string of financially lucrative but critically awful films.

But look at them now. Affleck has won best director at the Golden Globes for Argo. The movie was also voted best drama. Suddenly, that Mr J-Lo tag long forgotten.

Meanwhile, McConaughey is undergoing a ‘McConaughaissance' (not my coining), appearing in the very noir-ish Killer Joe as well as playing an HIV victim on TV screens next year.

Both must have had a good hard look at themselves in the mirror and decided that being a pretty face isn't enough. Sometimes a boy has just got to man up.

So well done, guys. Now what’s that saying that there's no second acts in Hollywood ... ?

Belfast Telegraph


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