Imagine that I’m Ben Affleck, and that I’m doing an interview with some obsequious junket journalist, and that the journalist has just asked which performance I’m most proud of…which single performance has, by my standards, hit the mark in a more incisive and commanding way than any other before or since?

I would say without hesitation that my finest performance is the young, go-getter, fortunate-son, guilt-stricken attorney in Roger Michel‘s Changing Lanes (’02).

The Paramount release was filmed 20 years ago, when I was roughly 29.

My “alcoholic basketball coach in San Pedro” performance in The Way Back is my second favorite in terms of all-around pride, subtle technique and emotional revelation, followed by my “husband under suspicion of murder” performance in Gone Girl. My fourth-place would be my action-commando turn in J.C. Chandor‘s Triple Frontier.

I would refuse to answer a follow-up question about which performances I’m most ashamed of, if any. I have a few failures under my belt, sure, but I wouldn’t discuss them with some mealy-mouthed junket whore.

My favorite non-performative performance was on Real Time with Bill Maher, way back in 2014.