It’s not every day a Hollywood A-lister shows up in Chéticamp.
But when actor and director Ben Affleck was spotted at Cormier’s Service Station in the Cape Breton fishing village on Thursday, attendant Mike Gibbon had to do a double-take.
In security footage, the “Batman v Superman” star is seen wearing a black coat and a toque covering his eyes. He kept his eyes to the ground, which made confirming his identity a bit hard for Gibbon and his wife.
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“I had to kinda look down and up, so I could see his face because he was looking at the ground when he was at the till,” he told The Chronicle Herald.
“And then I called him on it and was, like, ‘Ben?’ And then he kinda looked just a tiny bit and was, like, ‘Yeah’ and then I was, like, ‘Ben Affleck?’
"And then he looked up completely and pulled up his hat a bit and he was, like, yeah, yeah it’s me.”
News of the sighting didn’t take long to spread across the small Acadian community, which is nearly a five-hour drive from Halifax. But it remains a mystery as to what Affleck was doing on the island during a time of year when few tourists venture there.
Gibbon told the Cape Breton Post he’s “hearing all sorts of things.”
“He was here to buy property, he was here on a retreat at the Buddhist monastery, that he was in Halifax to support the film tax credit,” told the newspaper.
Despite his brush with a celebrity, Gibbon asserts he wasn’t starstruck. He told CBC News he didn’t even ask for a picture — although he did capture Affleck in security camera footage.
“I gave the man respect and gave him his space like any other person, but I knew it was him,” he said.
The day after Affleck was in Chéticamp, he was thrust into the spotlight for an entirely different reason. Controversial hacked Sony e-mails about the star were uploaded by Wikileaks, showing Affleck had asked producers of "Finding Your Roots," a PBS genealogy show, to suppress information about one of his ancestors who owned slaves.
On Tuesday, Affleck addressed the controversy on his Facebook page, saying he regrets his push not to include the issue of slavery in the story.
"I didn't want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth," Affleck wrote.
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