Why Ben Affleck’s Cameo Was Cut From The First Buffy Movie

A Ben Affleck cameo in the first Buffy the Vampire Slayer film is great fun, although his one line of dialogue was dubbed over. The budding Affleck was just beginning to make his acting breakthrough when the Buffy movie was released in 1992, a year before Affleck’s turn in Dazed and Confused and five before his star-making role in Good Will Hunting. Buffy certainly did not contribute to Affleck’s growth into a 1990s leading man, with his one line and uncredited role in the finished film as Basketball Player #10. Though Affleck’s part was always planned to be minor, during post-production, its significance was reduced even further. This tidbit has been an entertaining piece of pop culture trivia for some time, but a 2022 book highlights the reason why Affleck’s cameo in the original Buffy was reduced.

In Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, author Evan Ross Katz quotes a 2020 Affleck interview in which he says, « Apparently I am so bad in that movie…I thought it was fine and the director seemed happy. I went to the movie – I didn’t get premiere tickets or anything – and I was like… that is not my voice. That is not me. Apparently the director hated my performance so much that she looped the entire performance, which was one line.” Evidently, Buffy director Fran Rubel Kuzui dubbed over Affleck’s one line, « take it, » where the actor looks comically frightened and hands the basketball over to a vampire during the game.

Ben Affleck’s Cut Cameo Could Have Helped The Buffy Movie

The original Buffy film is similar conceptually but offers a sillier take on what would become the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. It was panned by critics at the time but is arguably not the unmitigated disaster it is sometimes made out to be. The movie comes across as a rough draft of Buffy and the Scooby Gang’s antics, and 30 years of hindsight makes it easier to admire how it laid the groundwork for its stellar TV iteration. Add in Seth Green’s enjoyable role as the only Buffy star in both the show and movie, and there’s plenty to watch for.

Still, the film’s reputation might have been improved by a more prominent cameo from Affleck. His screen time is incredibly brief, and the fact that it’s not his voice makes even the short moment less interesting. However, that one of the biggest stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s got one of his first film roles in Buffy makes it more of a curious cultural artifact worth revisiting, even with all its flaws.

Why Ben Affleck’s Cut Buffy Cameo Could Be A Good Thing

The flip side is that if Affleck had wowed the director with his performance and even had his role extended, it could have changed the direction of his great career. He could have been typecast as a handsome jock and handed such roles for the rest of the 1990s, which might have veered him away from his complex and compelling performances in the likes of the Kevin Smith films Mallrats and Chasing Amy, Mark Pellington’s Going All the Way, and especially his incredible dramatic turn in Good Will Hunting. For the latter film, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay alongside Matt Damon. That is even before accounting for Affleck’s Batman and Oscar-winning films as director – all achievements a world away from a brief cameo and solitary line delivery disappointing the director of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film.