At Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, a clearly nervous Ben Affleck approached the microphone to accept the award as producer and director of Best Picture winner Argo. As far as acceptance speeches go, his was the perfect example of spontaneous joy.
Visibly sweating and speaking with lightning speed, Affleck took time to thank his wife, actress Jennifer Garner. “I want to thank my wife who I don't normally usually associate with Iran. I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases.”
The camera panned to Garner, who was smiling but also looked a bit concerned. Realizing that he had acknowledged that their marriage was “work,” Affleck quickly clarified his statement. “It's good. It is work but it's the best kind of work and there's no one I'd rather work with!”
Viewers immediately latched on to Affleck’s bumbling categorization of his marriage.
Umm... Did Ben Affleck just call his marriage to Jennifer Garner work in front of a global audience? Awkward? #oscars
— Time Out New York (@TimeOutNewYork) February 25, 2013
Ben Affleck wins the Oscar for most in trouble husband ever.
— Lauren Bans (@LaurenBans) February 25, 2013
— Anita Flores (@anitajewtina) February 25, 2013
Others thought Affleck’s honesty was romantic.
People making snide tweets about Ben Affleck's #Oscars speech & marriage: You are why you are single. Every good relationship takes effort.
— Amy Cao (@amycao) February 25, 2013
I think Ben Affleck just summed up marriage in that crazy speech -- it's work, but it's the best kind of work. #Oscars2013.
— Natalie (@nataliewardel) February 25, 2013
Ben Affleck's tribute to Jennifer Garner in his acceptance speech just made me tear-up. Yay them. Yay marriage. #cutestcoupleontheplanet
— Melissa Wear (@MelissaMWear) February 25, 2013
Affleck went on to thank everyone in Hollywood for working with him, referencing his first Oscar win as screenwriter for Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon. “I was here 15 years ago or something and I had no idea what I was doing . . . I went out and I never thought I would be back here. And I am, because of so many of you who are here tonight.”
Since their wedding in 2005, Garner has taken time off her career to focus on her family. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Affleck said Garner “has given up a lot of opportunities in her career for our kids . . . I went and worked so much and I started directing, and that was taking two years, so she didn’t feel oh well now I can take ten weeks and go do a movie. So she really spent her time with our children and you can see the benefits it pays. You know, not everyone is able to do that. Not everyone is that lucky.”
Affleck and Garner have three children together. At the end of his acceptance speech last night, the emotion audible in his voice, Affleck finished by thanking them. “Violet, Sam, and Sera, this is for you.”