There was no one who could have more perfectly played mean supersenior "Fred O'Bannion" than Ben Affleck. But unlike his antisocial bully character, Ben spent time with the cast during their free time which meant partaking in classic weed-smoking circles.
Ben Affleck Faked Smoking Weed
"O'Bannion" famously repeated the 12th grade which meant he was allowed to participate in the hazing tradition of paddling incoming freshmen. Bully "O'Bannion" took far too much pleasure in being violent and ended up having a whopping bucket of karma spilled on him.
But unlike his character, Ben Affleck was friendly with his castmates! In the book Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused Ben opened up about his little secret! He, unfortunately "had a bad experience with marijuana at 15. I had a dissociative panic attack," which made him too worried to smoke with the rest of the cast and crew during off time.
Apparently, "I only smoked Weed if everyone else was smoking and I had to sort of Bill Clinton it and fake it. I didn't really like marijuana." He is famously referring to the former United States President's claimed that "when I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale it, and never tried it again."
This is his first big acting role and he didn't want to risk being unprofessional. He said he was "a little nervous, like should we be drinking before we're working tomorrow? Some people were actually drinking and stoned at work!"
It wasn't until he was much older and further into his successful career that Ben acquired serious alcohol addiction, he "wasn't a very heavy drinker then. I became an alcoholic much much later and I'm in recovery now, so that was a whole different time."
A whole different time and a whole different Ben! For more juice behind the scenes secrets Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is available now!