Ben Affleck has the internet in shambles with his unexpected linguistic skills.
On Thursday, the actor went viral after a recent interview with Spanish radio network Cadena SER, where he talks about his new movie Air. Focused on the backstory behind basketball icon Michael Jordan's contract with Nike to create the hugely popular Air Jordan shoe, Affleck explained to the interviewer that the Hall of Famer's absence from the film stems from the fact that no actor could possibly portray the sports legend. And though what he said seems pretty standard in relation to the movie, the fact that he did it all in fluent Spanish was an unexpected twist that no one saw coming, as proven by the reaction.
While the video was posted to Cadena SER's TikTok, it also didn't take long for the clip to reach Twitter thanks to a viral tweet by LAist's Antonia Cereijido, who joked that Affleck was "angling to be called Benito." And from there, the buzz only continued to grow, with the general consensus appearing to be shock and awe.
Affleck angling to be called Benito with the recent vacancy pic.twitter.com/uKTsr0AAWe— Antonia Cereijido (@antoniacere) April 5, 2023
As most commenters wrote, that they had "no idea Ben Affleck was *this* fluent in Spanish" and hearing Affleck speak Spanish this well was "not on my 2023 bingo card," with one person even voicing their surprised by saying, "The more spanish he spoke the less he looked like Ben Affleck???? Or is that just me?"
I had no idea Ben Affleck was *this* fluent in Spanish ??? https://t.co/ucP7DhhL31— Squiggles B. McCarthy (@OwennnThomas) April 6, 2023
Hearing Ben Affleck speak Spanish this good was not on my 2023 bingo card https://t.co/IXVdtofHu8— 𝔇𝔞𝔦𝔰𝔥𝔞 (@justsaydai) April 6, 2023
the more spanish he spoke the less he looked like Ben Affleck???? Or is that just me?— 💀🍑 gaki.NEMO (@Nehemiah___) April 6, 2023
Meanwhile, some even thought it was actually kind of "terrifying," probably because hearing excellent Spanish come out of the mouth of Affleck — a proud Boston native and the Patron Saint of Dunkin' Donuts — is pretty jarring.
Ben Affleck speaking Spanish is absolutely terrifying. Goodnight!— Sophia Rivka Rossi (@sofifii) April 5, 2023
And of course, the video also spurred plenty of jokes from people like writer William Yu, who tweeted, "the irrational way that this is the exact kind of fluency i expect myself to have after hitting my 23 day streak on the free version of duolingo."
the irrational way that this is the exact kind of fluency i expect myself to have after hitting my 23 day streak on the free version of duolingo pic.twitter.com/MPVrDmkAaL— William Yu 유규호 (@its_willyu) April 5, 2023
Most notably though, Affleck's interview also impressed Spanish speakers, with journalist Isabelia Herrera noting that he's even "introducing caribbean elision into his spanish."
"man said 'QUERIA REPETARLO, COÑO' lmfaooo," as Herrera added, prior to Cerijido also adding that she hoped the actor and his wife, Jennifer Lopez, would see her post. And what would be even better? If "Ben calls it 'magnifico' in his beautiful accent."
the fact that he's now introducing caribbean elision into his spanish...man said "QUERIA REPETARLO, COÑO" lmfaooo— Isabelia Herrera (@jabladoraaa) April 5, 2023
and that Ben calls it "magnifico" in his beautiful accent— Antonia Cereijido (@antoniacere) April 5, 2023
That said, Affleck's Spanish-speaking skills aren't exactly a huge secret to diehard fans, as he previously talked on about learning the language when he was a teen while filming a show in Mexico during his 2020 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Affleck then went on to tell Clarkson that his own teenage daughter's proficiency later inspired him to keep up with his Spanish, saying that he didn't mind if she couldn't do her math homework, but she was "not going to be better at Spanish than me."
Photo via Getty / Thos Robinson for The New York Times