The mood on the set of Armageddon, it turns out, was just as apocalyptic as the movie.
A revealing audio clip of star Ben Affleck from the DVD commentary of the 1998 summer blockbuster has gone viral, like it does every so often, and listeners are again shocked by the actor’s frank admissions, reports the New York Post.
On the track, Affleck says fiery director Michael Bay told him to “shut the f**k up” when he started asking too many questions about the disaster film’s implausible plot.
“I asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers, and he told me to shut the f**k up,” said Affleck, who was just 25 years old when Armageddon hit theatres.
“’You know, Ben, just shut up, OK? You know, this is a real plan,’” Affleck, now 51, recalled Bay saying. “I was like, ‘You mean it’s a real plan at NASA to train oil drillers?’ And he was like, ‘Just shut your mouth!’”
In Armageddon, a Texas-size asteroid is hurtling toward earth and the US government decides to send a deep-core oil driller, played by Bruce Willis, and his blue-collar employees into space to install a bomb to blow it to smithereens.
Notably, the screenplay was an early-career effort from J.J. Abrams, who would go on to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens 17 years later.
Most critics shared Affleck’s scepticism. Roger Ebert, in his one-star Chicago Sun-Times review, said, “The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained.”
The Post’s Rod Dreher, however, disagreed, giving the movie a full four stars and calling it “a barrelling, badass testosto-fest.”
“Armageddon” certainly struck a chord with destruction-hungry audiences, earning $533 million worldwide on its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie of the year.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.