Ben Affleck on ‘Argo’ Oscar Snub: ‘The Only Guy Who F*cked Up Was the Lead and the Director?’

While Affleck's "Argo" won Best Picture, he didn't get nominations for directing or acting.
Ben Affleck arrives at the premiere of "The Tender Bar" on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Ben Affleck
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

While “Argo” picked up nearly every major prize under the sun during the 2012-2013 awards season, including the Best Picture Oscar, director Ben Affleck did not receive nominations for Best Director or Best Actor. Yes, he did ultimately walk home with a statuette (shared with producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney) for Best Picture, but the lack of a Best Director nom to match it felt like a deliberate snub. And Affleck thought so too, as he revealed on a recent episode of “The Howard Stern Show.”

“It was the big snub, right? That really taught me a lot. I did everything they told me. They told me, ‘You got to kiss the babies.’ And I schmoozed everybody in the world right. Part of this [is] because you’re the director, but truth is, I wanted it. I wanted it and most people, I think they are probably not totally honest. I wanted it and I wanted it for that reason. And then, and everybody told me, ‘Oh you’re gonna win.’ It wasn’t, ‘You’re going to be nominated.’ It was, ‘You’re a lock.’ So of course I get up that morning, go sit in front of the TV. And I did assume I was gonna get nominated. You know what, because everybody said I would. So all these people must know. And they read those names, and I remember thinking, ‘It’s never gonna happen. I’m never gonna get it.'”

Affleck said the first thing he did after the snub was “call up the Warner Bros. people, who worked really hard, who really wanted it for me, and I said, ‘Guys, I think you know I’m done. I’m never going to do it again. No handshaking. I don’t give a fuck.’ And maybe I don’t deserve it. If the directors didn’t think I deserved it, that’s their opinion, and that’s fine. I’m proud of the movie. I’m glad Billy [Goldenberg, the film’s editor] and Chris [Terrio, the screenwriter] got nominated. And they’re like, ‘Oh, we got Picture.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, we got Picture, but they made sure to leave me out.'”

Affleck added, “We had Editing, Score, Picture. The only guy who fucked up was the lead and the director? I can do the math on who the asshole is here. That day, I had to go to the fucking Critics Choice Awards, which has, if my memory is correct, the single longest fucking red carpet in humanity. Every single stop, you don’t even have to say anything, they just hold the mic and they say ‘So, snubbed?’ You have to pretend that you’re OK, pretend it didn’t bother you, because god forbid something bothered you. I went into the Critics Choice, got hammered at the table and figured, well, we’re fucked. And then we fucking won. So I went up and said, ‘Well I don’t want to thank the Academy.’ Because I didn’t give a fuck anymore. And then, of course, as it happens all the time in life, we never lost another award.”

Affleck most recently stars in George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar” and Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel.”

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