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The Celebrity Apprentice
Dec 16 2010, 01:37 PM by Marty Flanagan
Unlike Drew Latham, the lonely, but wealthy executive he played in
2004's holiday movie Surviving Christmas, actor/director
Ben Affleck's life away from the cameras is anything but empty and
depressing. For the father of two young daughters with wife
Jennifer Garner, the Academy Award-winner Affleck (he shares a Best
Screenplay Oscar with longtime BFF Matt Damon for Good Will
Hunting) every birthday and holiday is treated like a major event
in the Affleck/Garner household. "If it's birthdays, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, Valentine's Day or any day vaguely special, it's treated
like it was a national holiday around our house," jokingly admits
the 38-year-old Affleck, who recently directed and starred in the
crime thriller The Town. "Seriously, though, when you have young
children, you try to make every Christmas special, particularly for
the little ones (five-year-old Violet Anne and Seraphina Rose
Elizabeth, who turns two in January).Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate in Surviving
In Surviving Christmas, Affleck's character Drew Latham
may have all the money and success in the world, but he doesn't
have a family or a better half to share any of it with. Christmas
is right around the corner and it looks like he'll be facing
another lonely Yuletide all by himself. But Drew wants this
December 25th to be different, like the Christmases he used to
enjoy as a kid. However, when he visits the home he used to live in
as a boy, it looks nothing like the warm, loving house he was
raised in. His one-time home is no occupied by The Valco Family -
played by James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O'Hara
and Josh Zuckerman. It doesn't matter what the Valcos are like,
Drew is determined to have a very, merry Christmas, so he hires the
Valcos - for an incredible amount of dough - to act as his family
for the holiday. While the Valcos think that have won the lottery,
they don't know just how annoying a guest - or fake family member -
Drew can really be.
"We had a lot of fun making that movie," recalls Christina
Applegate. "It was a fun part to play. I played the daughter of the
family that Ben rents, sort of his nemesis-slash-lusty-desire. But
I had a great time working with him. It was fantastic. I love Ben
.He is the nicest person, he has this amazing brain, he's very
funny, he's really professional and a good person all the way
round. We had an even better time meeting the press to promote
At a Los Angles press gathering shortly before the film's release,
the two chatted about Christmases past and when they found out that
Santa isn't real.What is the strangest Christmas you have ever
Ben Affleck: The most unusual Christmas I had was probably last
year, which I spent in the Middle East. That was definitely an
unusual Christmas, being there with all the soldiers in the Middle
East - it was strange. I mean, it's shocking how grand a form of
service that it really is to be in war time in the military and how
hard that kind of life is to be working 12 hour shifts on Christmas
and being afraid you might get blown up. They are out there for
like fifty cents an hour, I mean, that is kind of no joke.When did either of you find out that there was no Santa
Christina Applegate: Do you remember what year that was? That was
last year wasn't it, Mr. Affleck?
Affleck: (Laughs) When did I find out? I did at one time believe in
Santa, because I do remember asking my mother, 'How did Santa
know?' That's what really freaked me out - how did he know that
that's just what I wanted? I think it disturbed me more than
anything else. It gave me like a weird 1984-ish feeling, like Big
Brother was watching me, and I wasn't happy with that because I was
humping into the bed posts and I hoped Santa didn't know
that.You were what?
Applegate: He was humping the bedpost and he was hoping that Santa
didn't know that. That's the worst thing when you find out that
there's no Santa Claus.
Affleck: Not when you hump the bedpost.So, Christina, how did you find out there was no Santa
Applegate: I was six years old and...humping the bed post. (laughs)
I went out because I was so excited because the cake had been eaten
and the presents were laid out. Then, I looked on the shelf and
there was the same wrapping paper on the shelf that there was on
the presents from Santa Claus. I put two and two together and I was
pissed.Did you confront your parents?
Applegate: I was pissed for the lying, for all the lying all those
years. I was so mad. I was like six years old, and I think I was
like cursing my mother out, going, 'How could you do this and lie
to me all these years?' It was awful.
Affleck: It was the lies. It's not the gaff, it's the cover up, you
know what I mean?
Applegate: I know they went through all that effort.So you think parents shouldn't actually make their kids
believe in Santa Claus?
Applegate: No, I think it's a beautiful thing to believe in Santa
Claus. Those were the best Christmases ever - the ones where you
believed in Santa Claus.
Affleck: You have to have a Santa or there would be no Christmas.
You know what, just rent one if you need to. Boy, that sounds
like a good movie.
Applegate: It does. You are Mr. Oscar Winner, maybe you can write
Surviving Christmas 2.
Affleck: Where is the eggnog? (laughs)
By: Earl Dittman
Surviving Christmas airs Friday, December 17th at 9.00
pm on Global.