Man at His Best

Sting Like A Bat

Ben Affleck got silat lessons for The Accountant.

BY Jason S Ganesan | Oct 14, 2016 | Film & TV


Batman is said to be one of the greatest martial artists in the world—being able to “incapacitate a person in four hundred and sixty-three different ways without drawing blood” with his mixture of karate, savate, judo, jiujitsu, ninjutsu, and wushu, at minimum.

So it makes sense that he’d want to learn silat.

As Star 2 revealed recently, Ben Affleck took silat lessons for his new movie The Accountant. In which butt-chinned one takes a wild departure from playing a genius billionaire with a secret butt-kicking life, to playing a genius millionaire with a secret butt-kicking life.

Or, as the AV Club put it, a mix of Jason Bourne and Will Hunting.

Affleck said he thought about Christian Wolff—a maths savant who uses his skills to cook books for crime gangs—as “a very sensitive instrument that could pick up on things more than typically functioning people with less acute sensory perception—like how animals hear things that we don’t and become stiff and precise with their movements.” Like bats?

“The story speaks to the duality in all of us,” he added. “On the one hand, he’s this effectively trained fighter and on the other, he’s a math savant. Those facets of his personality—seemingly at odds in him—were unlike anything I’ve ever done before and made it both exciting and challenging.” Word.

Silat isn’t as popular as other martial arts—at least not in Hollywood—but director Gavin O’Connor chose it because he wanted a fighting style that would highlight Wolff’s “childhood training and his need for order.” You don’t say.

“I wanted to approach the action through character, with the thought being when Chris got into a situation that required violence, he would eliminate the threat as quickly and economically as possible,” Affleck added. Sounds fresh.