This is The Friday Post, Hung Up’s weekly roundup of celebrity mess and miscellanea. If you like this kind of thing, why not subscribe? Also: this post is too long for email, so consider reading it on-site.
I’ve heard it said — by me, to me — that this is a “Ben Affleck obsessed” newsletter. Or it’s a “Jennifer Lopez obsessed newsletter.” Exhibit A: “Normalize Dumping A-Rod.” Exhibit B: “What Will Fill the Affleck-de Armas-Sized Hole in My Heart?” Exhibit C: “Gone Girl But Ben Affleck is Defended by Ray Liotta in Marriage Story.” Isn’t anyone else doing anything? Shouldn’t I get back to writing about movies, and not writing about these two specific people? I think to myself. Ultimately I have no qualms about this — I am a single issue voter when it comes to celebrities, and that voting issue is: drama. (And also an Oscar for Annette Bening and blank check powers for Nia DaCosta.)
Through some glitch in the matrix, J.Lo and Ben Affleck are the only two people in Hollywood consistently delivering on the chaos edict: I’m listening to Usher, there’s a new Spider-Man movie coming out soon, Ben Affleck and J.Lo are Doing It. One the one hand: is this not literally the year 2004? On the other hand: y’all will not shut up about nostalgia and reboots and revivals. A Bennifer reboot is exactly what God hath wrought.
For someone who hates to be embarrassed, J.Lo exclusively dates men who will embarrass her. Affleck is no exception. But she can’t be with a rando or a cornball (see also: alternative cornball). She has to be with someone who appreciates the all of what J.Lo is today — the movies, the music, the makeup, the empire. She’s not putting on lipgloss that matches the shade of her concealer for just anyone. Ben Affleck, in his positive attitude hunting era, is a pretty good match. What we can never discount about these two is that they’re fun. They’re playful. Bennifer is a good time for everyone involved.
Hung Up presents: A Timeline
January: During the reunion special for Southern Charm, a show on Bravo that I have never seen, cast member Madison LeCroy confessed that she was involved in some kind of something with “a very famous, married ex-MLB player,” according to Andy Cohen. LeCroy said the two “communicated on Instagram,” but denied another cast member’s claim that she flew to Miami to meet this man.
On The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast, Ben Affleck reflects on his relationship with J.Lo, the tabloid hoopla around their engagement, and her career’s ascendance. “People were so fucking mean about her — sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious shit was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now you would literally be fired for saying those things you said,” he says.”Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished — as well she fucking should be!”
Also in January: Affleck and Ana de Armas break up. “She broke it off. Their relationship was complicated,” a source tells People. “Ana doesn't want to be Los Angeles based and Ben obviously has to since his kids live in Los Angeles.” For literally no reason, Casey Affleck opines that de Armas is “a catch in every way.”
February: The mystery ex-MLB player who maybe lives in Miami had a name: a Southern Charm cast member claims he is none other than serial cheater and J.Lo Beauty user Alex Rodriguez.
“Months before [the show’s reunion special], [LeCroy] had told me they were FaceTiming or something,” Southern Charm-er Danni Baird said on a podcast, according to the New York Post. “I never asked more about it, or anything like that. I just didn’t tie in that he was a Major League Baseball player.” I personally love this quote because forgetting that A-Rod played professional baseball is such a funny drag.
“He doesn’t know this woman,” someone close to A-Rod told The Post. “Look, does this mean he didn’t DM her and liked a photo or two? I guess not, but he doesn’t know her — and he definitely didn’t hook up with her.” A-Rod denies Facetiming LeCroy; LeCroy says they were “never physical,” but maintains that they talked on the phone. “He’s never physically cheated on his fiancée with me,” she told Page Six.
Meanwhile, J.Lo flies to the Dominican Republic to film Shotgun Wedding. According to a report this week from TMZ — a report with a URL that curiously features the name “Benny Medina,” J.Lo’s longtime manager — Ben Affleck begins writing J.Lo letters. “He wrote to tell her how beautiful she looked, and how much he wished he could be down there with her,” TMZ says.
March: Page Six scooped whatever rollout J.Lo and her army of nude lipglosses had planned, exclusively reporting J-Rod was no more on March 12. The couple issues a denial, saying they are “working through things.” A week later they’re spotted in a very public make-out, like too public.
April: Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards says he doesn’t know who A-Rod is, which isn’t particularly relevant here but it is an inspiration to me.
Two days later, J-Rod confirms the split. The couple says they are “better” as friends. A-Rod is crying on Instagram and listening to Coldplay.
J.Lo is on the cover of InStyle, and Ben Affleck gives a secondary interview about how ageless she is, or whatever. Madison LeCroy says she wishes the former couple “the best.” A-Rod flaunts his “revenge body.”
In the final stretch of April, and I mean the very last day, Affleck is spotted hanging out with Lopez.
May: J.Lo performs at Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium. She sings the white Bostonian anthem “Sweet Caroline,” ostensibly because her mother used to sing it to her. Interesting. I wonder who is white and from Boston and newly back in J.Lo’s life?
Over Mother’s Day weekend — and while we’re speaking on the topic, happy Mother’s Day to Annette Bening — Ben Affleck and J.Lo take a trip to Montana together to the ritzy Yellowstone Club. (Affleck previously took his exes Shauna Sexton and Jennifer Garner to the ski resort.) "They have a good time when they're hanging out and things have been easy, fun and exciting between them," a source tells Entertainment Tonight. "They've stayed in touch over the years, so the two of them reconnecting isn't a huge surprise to their friends. Ben is protective over J.Lo and they're trying to be as low key as possible."
Alexa press play on “The Scientist.” A-Rod is “shocked” by the Bennifer reunion.
The Today Show asks Matt Damon about the Bennifer reunion. Damon says: "There's not enough liquor in the world for you to get me to say something about that," which, I don’t know, feels like a weird thing to say. But you all know how I feel about him.
What paid subscribers got this week
“Movies Where Ben Affleck Makes You Move to The Midwest” — Why lie? This is the most fun I’ve had writing anything in a while! I love Ben Affleck’s dramatic spirit and I also love movies.
For more on Bennifer Redux, might I suggest: Allie Jones’s amazing newsletter Gossip Time. (Devoted Hung Up readers may recall that I don’t shut up about this newsletter — it is so, so good.) Allie and I talked about the Bennifer revival for her paid subscribers. A preview:
You can subscribe to Gossip Time here.
The CDC says fully vaccinated people can return their three Golden Globe Awards
It is maybe the least important story of the week, but my personal favorite: As the Golden Globes implosion continues, Tom Cruise returned his three trophies to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Deadline reports: “The trophies just sent to HFPA headquarters are the Best Actor prize he won for Jerry Maguire, the Best Actor prize he won for Born on the Fourth of July and the Best Supporting Actor prize he won for Magnolia. This is a new tack, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others follow his lead and that the reception area of the HFPA could be crammed with golden trophies.”
To be clear: no one else has followed his lead.
I missed this two weeks ago: Entourage creator Doug Ellin says HBO’s streaming service is “hiding” the show.
“For a while, we were hiding in, like, ‘wish-fulfillment shows,’” he told Yahoo Entertainment. “We were nominated for the Emmys or the Golden Globes almost every single year, so to not put us on the must-see comedy list was pretty bizarre.” He says a “wave of righteous PC culture” has overtaken the show which is funnier than anything I ever saw on Entourage, I’m sorry!
Lift Amy Adams stans up in prayer: The Woman in the Window is now streaming.
Lift the person in your life who loves or lives with a Barb up in prayer: Beam Me Up Scotty is now streaming on Spotify.
Katheryn Hudson, pop music’s last remaining Obama-era optimist, released a new song. But more importantly she announced her Vegas residency!
And yes I will be showing up and showing out.
“Actually, no, that’s not the truth Ellen.”
Devoted Hung Up readers will recall that: every tongue that rises against Dakota Johnson shall fall. One of those tongues — Ellen DeGeneres — is indeed falling. Ellen is leaving daytime. Ellen says: “When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.”
But actually no, that’s not the truth Ellen: She does not mention any of Krystie Lee Yandoli’s reporting for BuzzFeed about the show’s toxic culture. She does not even mention the apology she gave after those allegations were reported.
For someone with a “constant need to be challenged,” regaining the million viewers she lost seems like quite a challenge!
The Chrissy Teigen Industrial Complex
This is a good recap of something that has been a long time coming:
I have legitimately never been so moved by a pregnancy since Beyoncé announced that she was expecting twins.
Lana Del Rey’s cop ex-boyfriend retired from the Tulsa Police Department, according to the local paper.
Just gonna leave this here:
Now you good and damn well Bradley Cooper’s tethered is losing a fist fight, it’s not no damn draw.
Martin Scorsese Glasses Update
He is: in Oklahoma. He is also: still not wearing his glasses.
Watch Ziwe on Showtime:
That’s all this week! Thank you for reading. This weekend I will be sitting outside and listening to Nick Britell’s Underground Railroad score.