Who came up with 'Bennifer'? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez couple nickname coined while making 'Jersey Girl'
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez became famous as "Bennifer" and were among the most notable celebrity duos of the early 2000s. Fast forward to 2021, rumors about their reunion have meant the portmanteau of their names is trending on social media again. However, many are wondering who invented the now-infamous nickname for the two.
Affleck and Lopez first met on a film set when they starred together in the comedy 'Gigli' -- The film's plot followed a mobster, played by Affleck, who falls for Ricki, played by Lopez, who is sent in to take over his job. While the movie was a major flop, the public couldn't get enough of their real-life relationship behind the scenes.
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According to Cheatsheet, Lopez and Affleck began dating in 2002. They stepped out as a couple while attending the film's premiere, as well as for other prominent Hollywood events. The famous duo soon became one of the most talked-about celebrity couples. However, they would call off their 2003 wedding and officially part ways the following year.
Of course, portmanteaus existed well before the popularity of Bennifer but weren't as commonly used to describe celebrity couples until Lopez and Affleck got together. And despite the couple ending their relationship rather quickly, the trend continued. Following their split, the next highly public relationship to grab headlines was that of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They famously became known as "Brangelina".
More than fifteen years on, the celebrity-couple name-blending trend lives on, going from Robsten (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame) to Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West). Affleck himself became part of Bennifer 2.0 when he got together with Jennifer Garner, while Lopez and her former lover Alex Rodriguez were called J-Rod.
Both halves of the original Bennifer found themselves single more than 17 years after they went their separate ways. Lopez and Rodriguez split just months after Affleck called it quits with rumored girlfriend Ana de Armas.
Shortly after, tabloids and gossip columns began to report that Affleck and Lopez had been spotted together, sparking relationship rumors. Both subsequently attended an event filmed in early May 2021, before allegedly spending a week together at Affleck's residence in Montana.
With the term "Bennifer" making the rounds once again, many are wondering who came up with it. As reported by Cheatsheet, it was filmmaker Kevin Smith.
“‘Bennifer'” is trending,” Smith tweeted on Tuesday, May 11. “It’s a name I first gave the kids during 'Jersey Girl' pre-production, before the world found out they were dating. I’d later dropped the name in an interview with the @nytimes. Shortly thereafter, it appeared in the article and then entered the vernacular.”
“Bennifer” is trending.— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) May 10, 2021
It’s a name I first gave the kids during “Jersey Girl” pre-production, before the world found out they were dating.
I’d later drop the name in an interview with the @nytimes. Shortly thereafter, it appeared in the article and then entered the vernacular.
It's worth noting that Smith has worked with Affleck several times. Both he and Lopez teamed up for Smith’s production 'Jersey Girl', albeit Lopez’s role was relatively small one. Shortly after, the name "Bennifer" was adopted by the media and the couple soon became the most discussed pair in Hollywood.
“Ben wanted to be — believe it or not — quiet and not be in the tabloids,” Lopez told CBS Sunday Morning in 2019. “We were kinda out there. I remember stacks of magazines, and we were on it every week. It was scary. It was overwhelming for both of us," she noted about the time when they first got together.