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Ben Affleck's card-counting kerfuffle: Life imitates art

Ben AffleckAndrew GarfieldZac EfronThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Emma StoneZack SnyderMan of Steel

Oscar-winning producer and Batman-to-be Ben Affleck probably doesn't get asked to leave many places, but that's what happened at a Las Vegas casino last week, according to reports that the star was banned from the blackjack table for playing too well and presumably counting cards.

The kerfuffle serves as a curious example of life imitating Hollywood art: Affleck played a shady online gambling mogul in the crime thriller "Runner Runner" just last year, and his character's sociopathic cool and Machiavellian scheming would be enough to give any pit boss pause.

Sometimes on-screen/off-screen overlap can have a positive effect, as with real-life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's chemistry translating on screen in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and its predecessor.

At other times, the overlap can hit too close to home. Zac Efron made headlines with erratic behavior and whispers of substance abuse while his next movie, "Neighbors," finds him playing a demented party animal.

Had Affleck's blackjack incident come seven months earlier, it might have served as a slick bit of viral marketing for "Runner," which could have used the help. It collected less than $20 million at the box office on a $30-million budget, and it was poorly reviewed.

Affleck's upcoming projects with the most buzz is the Zack Snyder-directed "Man of Steel" sequel tentatively titled "Batman vs. Superman." Also on Affleck's agenda are David Fincher's "Gone Girl," based on the Gillian Flynn thriller and opening Oct. 3, and Affleck's fourth directorial outing, "Live by Night," which he adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel and will star in as well.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Ben AffleckAndrew GarfieldZac EfronThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Emma StoneZack SnyderMan of Steel
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