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Ben Affleck has amassed more than his fair share of headlines recently, and not just because his estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, got down and dirty with details about the demise of their marriage in the current issue of Vanity Fair (although, yes, that, too). It's also not just because Affleck's highly anticipated new film, "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," is finally opening in theaters later this month (again, though, that, too).
The newest Affleck headlines, however, have less to do with selling magazine and movie tickets and more with buying a little love from his 4-year-old son, Sam. While many Hollywood stars were out at pre-Oscar celebrations on Saturday, Affleck and Garner threw Sam a birthday party at their Pacific Palisades-area home in California.
It was a superhero-themed party, because, well, 4 years old. And if you're 4 and your dad is probably about to break box office records by playing the Dark Knight, then, hell yeah he'd better show up in the costume. So at Sam's request, Affleck showed up as the real Batman.
On Jimmy Kimmel's post-Oscar show on Sunday night, Affleck described how he had to sign a waiver to take the costume off the movie studio lot for the party. While you'd think the kids would have gone nuts that THE Batman was the entertainment, the way Affleck adorably describes it, it was actually a wee bit more awkward.
"There was Wonder Woman, Captain America, Iron Man and there was me … it was so mortifying. First I thought, 'It's kids. It's kids.' I didn't think that, of course, like, all their parents are there," he said.
"So I had to, like, put on my outfit for this movie, and put on my scary face for the 4-year-olds and all their folks are there," Affleck continued. "It's 11 in the morning and they're kind of like 'Wow. Batman.'"
Still, you have to imagine Sam was thrilled and proud, even if his friends and their parents were possibly terrified and mystified. And if the kids weren't OK with it, there was also pizza and cake, because again, well, 4-year-olds.
Affleck told Kimmel he said to the parents in his Batman voice, "This means a lot to my son. Don't make me come find you."
Of course when you're Ben Affleck, it's hard not to find him. Whether he's lobbying the Senate with Bill Gates for more aid in eastern Congo, getting smoothies with his kids or hanging out with Matt Damon (or letting Damon hang on him), clearly his name sells. He just may not sell any "Batman v. Superman" tickets to Sam's friends. Because they may have just had enough.