Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck: Jennifer Lopez Romance Hurt My Career

10/01/2007 at 04:00 PM EDT

Ben Affleck: Jennifer Lopez Romance Hurt My Career
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck has made his share of bad career moves – on- and off-screen – but he's hopeful his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, is a success.

"There's something really great about directing," Affleck, 35, tells Details magazine. "If you don't like this movie, I'm the guy to see. I'm the guy to criticize."

But he's betting that critics – and audiences – will like the movie and that it will help him get out of a rut that included some high-profile flops and an equally high-profile romance with Jennifer Lopez.

"It was probably bad for my career," he said of his dating the singer from 2002 to 2004.

"What happens in this sort of bleed-over from the tabloids across your movie work," he said. "I ended up in an unfortunate crosshair position where I was in a relationship and [the media] mostly lied and inflated a bunch of salacious stuff for the sake of selling magazines. And I paid a certain price for that. Then, in concert with some movies that didn't work ..."

Ben Affleck: Jennifer Lopez Romance Hurt My Career| Ben Affleck

November issue of Details

But now Affleck is in a new phase of his career and personal life.

"I feel like [Gone Baby Gone] is a linchpin for my life. My career," says the husband of actress Jennifer Garner and father of Violet, 2. "I have a lot riding on it. I want it to work. Badly. I mean, a s----- movie comes out on 2,800 screens? I've been there and it's embarrassing."

As for his future, Affleck is clearly committed to his family life – and staying out of the media spotlight.

"I'd be surprised if I am still living [in Los Angeles] in a couple years," he claims. "Professionally it would be difficult. But that's not as important as the other thing."

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