Plot twist! Director Kevin Smith revealed that he created the now legendary “Bennifer” nickname — but he kind of wishes he hadn’t.
In his new book, Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash, the 51-year-old talked about working with his friend Ben Affleck and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez on the 2004 film Jersey Girl — which was the couple’s second film together following the 2002 box office bomb Gigli.
It’s on the set of his film that Smith came up with the portmanteau, which combines the two Hollywood stars’ names.
“Dubious honor! A dubious honor at best, man,” he told The Daily Beast on Monday, October 25. “Most people out there, including Ben and Jen themselves, are like, ‘Thanks, a–hole.’”
Smith, who had previously taken credit for the name earlier this year, told the publication that he would often “say on the set of Jersey Girl — ‘Where’s Bennifer?’ — and someone would say, ‘They’re in the trailer.’”
However, the nickname became a phenomenon by accident. “I was talking to someone from the L.A. Times and doing an interview after we wrapped,” the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back actor said. “And I was like, ‘Bennifer.’ And then it showed up in print and started being everywhere.”
Affleck, 49, and Lopez, 52, first started dating in early 2002 and were engaged by November of that same year. However, the two called the wedding off days before the September 2003 ceremony. Smith revealed that he was supposed to be a part of their nuptials.
“I was, I think, the second reader, because we were just a year out from making Jersey Girl, and then I got the call — not from him, but somebody else — saying the wedding was off,” he told The Daily Beast on Monday, adding, “I don’t know if he called it off, but the wedding was called off.”
In May, Us Weekly confirmed that The Last Duel actor and “Let’s Get Loud” singer had reunited 18 years after they broke up. “They looked very happy together,” an insider told Us at the time.
Two months later, the couple made their Instagram debut in a video posted by Leah Remini. The pair has since popped up on the red carpet together and playfully trolled fans by recreating shots from her 2003 music video for “Jenny From the Block” — and Smith is here for Bennifer 2.0.
He continued, “And look, she’s fantastic, but he has looked better than he’s ever f–king looked in his entire life — and I’m a Ben Affleck fan! It took me until recently to be like, ‘Dude, you look so f–king good.’ He looks 20 years younger than he did even last year, and that’s love and what it’s done for him.”
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