Affleck Taking “Gigli” Calamity in Stride

Despite the calamity that is Gigli, star Ben Affleck seems to be taking its critical and commercial failure in stride.

Affleck tells Variety‘s Army Archerd that he and the cast and crew worked hard on the $53 million Gigli, which opened to a measly $3.8 million last weekend.

“The movie (Gigli) didn’t work. You work just as hard on a good movie as on a bad one. We tried to fix it,” he said. “But it was like putting a fish’s tail [with] a donkey’s head.”

Affleck also dismissed rumors of infighting between Gigli director Martin Brest and Revolution Studios chief Joe Roth over the film’s ending.

“Listen, I’ve seen more fireworks from (Miramax Films chairman) Harvey Weinstein in 10 minutes than on this picture. And I’ve made seven films with Harvey,” Affleck told Archerd. “And I’ll make more films with Martin and Revolution. I believe in Martin Brest.”

The actor also scoffed at the negative media buzz that has been building around the film for several months and reached a fervent peak the week before its release.

“I feel like we were caught in the eye of a storm–an earthquake that starts out at sea and by the time it reaches the shore it’s–!!!”

Affleck said he and co-star and real-life companion Jennifer Lopez probably won’t be fielding too many joint big-screen offers any time soon, but said it always depends on the story.

It will be interesting to see how moviegoers and critics will react to Affleck and Lopez‘s next project–Miramax’s comedy Jersey Girl, written and directed by Kevin Smith. One thing is certain: no one will be able to complain about the couple’s on-screen chemistry (or lack thereof): Affleck and Lopez play lovers again, but J. Lo dies in childbirth early in the film. Jersey Girl, set for release March 19, 2004, also stars Jason Biggs, George Carlin and Liv Tyler.

Despite Gigli‘s media backlash, don’t expect Ben and Jen, arguably Hollywood’s most-talked-about couple, to stay too far out of the limelight. The two are expected to be on hand Monday for the premiere of Miramax’s The Battle of Shaker Heights, winner of the 2002 Project Greenlight competition developed by Affleck and Matt Damon. According to Variety, attendees, including Affleck and Lopez, will be filmed for future use in the HBO TV series Project Greenlight.