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Lip Reader Reveals What Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez Said in Tense Grammys Moment

The A-list couple went viral for their behavior during the Feb. 5 awards show.

There was a lot to take in at the 2023 Grammys, from the performances to the fashion to the actual awards and the drama they kicked up, but amid it all, one celebrity couple caught viewers' attention just by sitting in the audience. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attended the Grammys where Lopez was a presenter. Her moment on stage came when she presented the award for Best Pop Vocal Album to Harry Styles, but it was her interactions with her husband in the audience that stood out more. At one point, Lopez appeared annoyed with Affleck, who looked—as viewers noted on social media—not very enthused about the show.

In order to get to the bottom of the apparent consternation, The Daily Mail commissioned a lip reader to determine what the famous pair were saying to each other. Read on to find out what she claims to have caught.

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Lopez and Affleck were caught on camera looking unhappy.

Given that they're two huge stars in a high-profile relationship, the camera panned to Lopez and Affleck multiple times during the Grammys for their reactions to the musical performances. At one point, Affleck whispered something in Lopez ear. She looked surprised at what he said and gave him a tap on the chest when she responded to him. Affleck replied back while straightening his suit. It then appeared that Lopez realized that camera was on her. Throughout the exchange, host Trevor Noah was sitting next to Lopez doing a transition bit.

A lip reader claims to know what they said.

Trevor Noah, Jennifer Lopez, and Ben Affleck at the 2023 Grammys
CBS / Recording Academy

The Daily Mail had a lip reader transcribe what Lopez and Affleck supposedly said in this short conversation. According to the lip reader, Lopez said, "Stop. Look more friendly. Look motivated." And Affleck replied, "I might." Obviously, this is speculation and there is no way of knowing what the couple actually said.

As for Lopez, she attested later that they had enjoyed taking in the awards show together. "Always the best time with my love, my husband," she wrote on Instagram next to a montage of videos from the event.

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Affleck was a hot topic on social media that night.

Ben Affleck at the premiere of "The Way Back" in 2020
DFree / Shutterstock

It wasn't just the exchange with Lopez that had Grammys viewers talking about Affleck. At other points during the show, the Tender Bar star did not exactly looked thrilled to be there.

One Twitter user wrote, "Whoever keeps cutting to Ben Affleck as he gets more and more exasperated, thank you." Another posted a picture of the actor looking tired and wrote, "someone get ben affleck a cigarette and a dunkin coffee stat."

Someone else shared, "Ben Affleck is every husband dragged to a work thing by his wife." Next to a video of Lopez dancing and Affleck nodding his head, a person posted, "Ben Affleck is how every man dragged to a couples baby shower looks."

It's not the first time he's been a meme.

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill being interviewed by Yahoo! in 2016

Long before the Grammys, Affleck became a meme thanks to an interview he did with Yahoo! in 2016 while promoting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While co-star Henry Cavill speaks, Affleck appears to zone out with a sad look on his face. A version of the video with the song "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel played over it went viral. Other photos of the 50-year-old have also become memes, including some of him smoking and looking depressed.

In light of the Grammys being an addition to the "Sad Affleck" canon, The Guardian even published an article titled "A mask of unadorned misery: how Ben Affleck became the world's biggest meme".

He doesn't mind it, but he does worry about his kids.

Ben Affleck at the premiere of "Justice League" in 2017
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Affleck addressed being the object of internet humor in 2022 interview with the Los Angeles Times. Talking specifically about negative stories that come out about him, he said, "I got to a place where [the public perception] was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring. But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the internet themselves, that's the difficult part." The star has three children, who are 10, 14, and 17 years old, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.

He continued, "Even the 'Sad Affleck' meme—that was funny to me. I mean, there's nobody who hasn't felt that way at a junket. But then my kids see it and I think, 'Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?' That's really tough."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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