Ben Affleck has a new movie coming out and this time, it’s hitting close to home. In The Way Back, Affleck plays Jack Cunningham, once a promising young athlete who now struggles with addiction. In the just-released trailer, he’s shown drinking alone in his home, at a bar and while driving his car, looking run down and despondent as he cracks open another beer. “I’m fine,” he shakily tells co-star Janina Gavankar, who expresses concern. “I appreciate it, but I’m fine.” With his red face and bleary, tear-filled eyes, it’s clear that he’s anything but.
The clip goes on to show that Affleck’s character has lost his family and continues to struggle, even as he reluctantly takes on the task of coaching his former high school’s basketball team. “I spent a lot of time hurting myself,” he admits in a voiceover. “I made a lot of bad decisions. I have a lot of regrets.” He’s seen downing vodka from a bottle, falling down a flight of concrete stairs and later, crying over a grave. Despite his personal turmoil, the trailer hints at his character’s hard-fought redemption and all signs point to this movie being a tear-jerker that despite the familiar plot is a juicy role for Affleck.
The Oscar winner, who also serves as a producer on the flick, shared The Way Back trailer on his Twitter Thursday morning, saying he was proud of the “story of endurance and redemption.”
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) November 14, 2019
Affleck has been open about his real-life challenges with alcoholism, which has included numerous relapses and trips to rehab. After being seen publicly inebriated a few weeks ago, the actor acknowledged the incident, telling media, “Well, you know, it happens…it was a slip but I’m not going to let it derail me.” He’s previously credited ex-wife and co-parent Jennifer Garner, with whom he shares three children, as a great supporter of his sobriety, and has made a point to raise awareness for addiction services like The Midnight Mission. “I’m making a donation today because there are people battling addiction every day that don’t have the resources and need help,” he shared while discussing his recovery on Facebook.
The Way Back is scheduled to hit theatres in March.