A year and a half after the tabloid-dream of a relationship between the complicated Hollywood mainstay, Ben Affleck, and newcomer Ana de Armas came to an end, the actress is speaking out about her experience as one half of the couple formerly known as Benana. In a recent interview with Elle, de Armas opened up about the “weird” times during Covid when her daily dog walks with her boyfriend were splashed across Page Six, and seemingly everyone had an opinion on her love life.
By the time de Armas started dating Affleck, she’d been living in Los Angeles for seven years, and she saw the way fame followed celebrities around, but she had yet to experience it until the relationship began in early 2020. “Going through it [myself] confirmed my thoughts about, ‘This is not the place for me to be,’” she said about LA. “It became a little bit too much. There’s no escape. There’s no way out.” De Armas described the experience as “horrible,” and it ultimately caused her to leave the city all together. “It’s a city that keeps you anxious,” she said of her former home.
De Armas and Affleck met on the set of the Hulu romantic thriller Deep Water in 2019 and started dating shortly after. Because of the pandemic, both their careers were more or less on hold, and they got to spend an unprecedented amount of time together at Affleck’s home in the Pacific Palisades. The Internet quickly became obsessed with the couple, likely because of Affleck’s complicated history, and de Armas’ new role as a Hollywood It girl thanks to her breakout in Knives Out. Their walks around the neighborhood were suddenly being dissected on Twitter, with podcasts like Who Weekly playing into the obsession with a weekly update on the pair. By the time they broke up in January 2021, no one was too surprised, more so disappointed that the Benana narrative had come to an end.
For de Armas, though, there was a silver lining to the whirlwind relationship—it caused her to up and leave Los Angeles, a decision she seems ultimately happy with. The actress now lives in New York City and dates Tinder exec Paul Boukadakis (while Affleck, as we know, is engaged to his former fiancée, Jennifer Lopez). According to Page Six, Affleck and de Armas ended things on good terms, and there’s “a lot of love still between the two of them,” they were simply at different points in their life.