It’s been a difficult year in the spotlight for actor Ben Affleck.
After entering rehab for the alcohol addiction that has plagued him for years, Affleck recently stepped away from a starring role as Batman in a new movie.
On Monday, in a new interview with Today’s Hoda Kotb, Affleck, 46, opened up about his struggles and his relationship with ex-wife Jennifer Garner for the first time since leaving treatment.
“It doesn’t really bother me to talk about alcoholism and being an alcoholic,” Affleck told the host.
“It’s part of my life. It’s something that I deal with. It doesn’t have to sort of subsume my whole identity and be everything, but it is something that you have to work at. I feel like I had a problem and I really want to address it, and I take some pride in that.”
In October, Affleck marked the end of his 40-day stay at an addiction treatment center with an Instagram post.
“I am fighting for myself and my family,” he wrote. “I hope down the road I can offer an example to other who are struggling.”
And despite his recent split from Garner, Affleck says he’s determined to be a good “co-parent” to their children Samuel, 7, Seraphina, 10, and Violet, 13.
He told Kotb he was in attendance for Samuel’s birthday last week, when Garner showed off her How to Train Your Dragon costume.
“I hope I’m a pretty good dad,” he said. “I certainly try very hard.”
“I’m lucky they’ve got a great mom. She helps out a great deal with making sure that we co-parent in as good a way as possible.”
When Kotb pointed out that Affleck still has a lot of affection for Garner, who staged Affleck’s intervention last August and was spotted with him on the day he checked in to rehab, the actor was quick to agree.
“Of course. She’s wonderful,” he said. “You know, somebody’s the mother of your kids, they’re gonna be the most important, central person in your life, and that’s good.”
But don’t expect a romantic reunion for the pair: they’ve both been spotted with other people since separating years ago. Garner is connected to CaliBurger CEO John Miller, while Affleck is has been spotted in public with SNL producer Lindsay Shookus.
Affleck’s career is obviously doing just fine, as he appeared on Today with Charlie Hunnam to promote their new movie Triple Frontier.
The star even seems to be putting his health first, as he bragged about taking on his ex Jennifer Lopez’s grueling 10-day diet challenge.
“I saw Carson Daly bombed out after a day,” Affleck teased. “I know I can get past the doughnut tray for longer than a day.”