Ben Affleck Talks Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow And Turning 40 In New Hollywood Reporter

Oh my! Lately I’ve been having a soft spot for Ben Affleck and by looking at the pic above, you’ll understand what I mean. His career is red hot, he’s 40, he’s got a great family life and he’s never looked better! In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the big screen hunk talks about his new film, “Argo” along with turning the big 4-0, and what ex-girlfriends he still keeps in touch with. Here’s what he says:

Ben Affleck on turning 40:
“It was not fun for me,” says Affleck of entering his fifth decade. “It’s this moment of bifurcation between youth and middle age. One wants to think of oneself as young. One does not want to think: ‘Wait a minute! How can I be halfway to death?’”

Why he owns guns:
He goes skeet shooting and admits to owning several guns — which he has embraced since his wife faced a stalker. “The stalker had been to our house many times and ultimately came to my children’s school and was arrested,” notes Affleck of Steven Burky, who was deemed insane in 2010 then placed in a mental ward and ordered to stay away from the Affleck family for 10 years. “It gave me a stronger sense of feeling protective about my family. There’s a lot of crazy, weird people out there. It’s an ugly world.”

On staying in touch with Jennifer Lopez:
He stays in touch with Lopez, just as he does Paltrow and his high school girlfriend, Cheyenne Rothman. “We don’t have the kind of relationship where she relies on me for advice,” he says of J.Lo, “but we do have the kind of relationship where there’ll be an e-mail saying, ‘Oh, your movie looks great.’ I remember when she got American Idol. I said: ‘This was really smart. Good luck.’ I touch base. I respect her. I like her. She’s put up with some stuff that was unfair in her life, and I’m really pleased to see her successful.”

Affleck on being consumed by work and his kids:
“There are so many decisions to be made, and it’s more than you can get to each day,” he says. “There is this underlying anxiety not just about getting the movie done but getting it done really well. It keeps my head spinning — even when I am giving the kids a bath. I can be giving them a bath or feeding them, and sometimes they say, ‘Dad, pay attention!’ Kids eat up that kind of hobby time,” he admits. “I used to ride motorcycles. I used to play basketball. And now basically I’m at home with them, or I work.”

What attracted him to wife Jennifer Garner:
Asked what drew him to his wife, he considers. “She truly is kind,” he says. “She means no one any harm. She doesn’t have ill will for any person. She’s not competitive with other people. She’s not spiteful.” He laughs. “It’s one of those things where it becomes almost aggravating at times. Every time I go, ‘F— him!’ I see in her face that she just thinks that’s petty and small.”

Why he hates politics and believes Obama will win:
Affleck has given up any notion of reforming it. After once being rumored to want a career in public office, he now says, “I loathe politics.” He supports President Obama but has not actively campaigned — partly because of his workload, partly because of his political disillusionment and partly because he is convinced the president will win the election despite the Oct. 3 debate. “I watched it backstage at Jimmy Kimmel,” he says. “It wasn’t his best performance. But I am still going to vote for him, and I am very, very confident he will win.”

On hanging out with Matt Damon too much:
“We see each other almost too often,” laughs Affleck. “I wonder if his wife is thinking, ‘Is he really going to come over every night?’”

Photos via The Hollywood Reporter