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Before he was Batman, Ben Affleck stepped into his first comic book role with 2003’s Daredevil.
It was divisive with critics, but Affleck found the idea of playing blind superhero Matt Murdock to be an interesting proposition, as he recalls in an upcoming documentary called CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion, about the evolution of portrayals of disability in entertainment.
Affleck granted the interview in 2014 while promoting Gone Girl, before he donned the role of Batman for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“He was a superhero, and there was a bunch of fantastical stuff attached to that. But that was less interesting to learn about than really learning what it felt like to be a person who had lost their sight — how they experienced the world, how their other senses changed,” said Affleck in a clip from the documentary.
Affleck wanted to go beyond simply looking like he was blind on camera.
“One of the things I was interested in [for] that movie was not just looking blind or coming across blind but knowing what it felt like,” he said.
Actor Tom Sullivan, who is blind, helped prepare Affleck for the role, teaching him how he moved and what his daily routine was like.
“He was really patient with me,” Affleck said. “I thought that was the most interesting thing about the movie, frankly. A lot of the other stuff was kind of silly.”
Jenni Gold, the first woman who uses a wheelchair to become part of the Director’s Guild, helmed CinemAbility, which is available on VOD Friday. Gold spent two years collecting interviews with stars such as Jamie Foxx, William H. Macy, Superman director Richard Donner, Jane Seymour and others. She wrote the film with Samuel W. Reed.
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