Even when you're Ben Affleck, you get gruff from the ladies in your house for a "look" that doesn't quite make the grade.
It turns out that gorgeous Jennifer Garner, plus daughters Violet, 6 and Seraphina, 3, are tough on male grooming habits.
Case in point was Affleck when he was making the critically acclaimed "Argo." The film is set in the '70s, which meant Ben grew up his hair into a long shag. His accessory was enough facial hair to get him the Grizzly Adams seal of approval.
"My family unanimously hated the look for different reason," Affleck says. "There was a united front and my littlest daughter said, 'Can't you shave your prickles. ' I said, 'I have to wear this for work.'
"My daughter said, 'What kind of work would want you to look like this?'"
A 70-year-old woman passes us during an early Sunday morning interview at the Beverly Hilton.
She takes one look at Ben and says, "I saw the movie and didn't object to the beard at all."
Affleck quips, "Because you didn't have to kiss me, ma'am."
TALKING WITH BEN AFFLECK
In "Argo," he acts, directs and produces what's being called a sure fire Best Picture Oscar contender.
On a Sunday morning at the Beverly Hilton, it's a slightly nervous Affleck in a blue and white plaid shirt and jeans who downplays all of it.
"The actor side of my brain is still in that phase of making connections and begging to get work. Luckily in this case, I asked the director for the job and the director said yes," says the actor.
The director in this case is Ben Affleck who stars in "Argo," opening Oct. 12.
Based on a true story, "Argo," tells the story of a CIA agent named Tony Mendez (Affleck) who concocted a top secret plan to extract six diplomats stuck in Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
There is Oscar buzz galore for the film, which isn't lost on Affleck who already has a screenwriting statue for "Good Will Hunting."
"Right now, we're trying to get the movie out. There isn't anybody who has paid a dime to see the movie yet," he says.
"The focus for me is just on the audience coming to see it. Otherwise, you're just a tree in the wood. The goal for me is for this to be as large a collective experience as possible."
TALKING ABOUT "ARGO"
"Argo" started at George Clooney's production company five years ago when they found the story in a magazine article in Wired. "When I got the script, I couldn't believe how good it was. I heard it was their best script, but that's usually some executive hyping it. I talked to George and said, 'I really want to do this,'" Affleck says.
Affleck plays Tony Mendez, CIA agent and the man who saved the six. It required him to grow the '70s hair including a beard, which didn't go over well at home where he lives with his two daughters, baby son and actress wife Jennifer Garner.
Affleck filmed in Turkey, which doubles for Iran. He never felt his safety was in danger despite the anti-American sentiment these days.
"Listen, if they're going to kill me over a movie, this is way down the list," Affleck says.
Affleck also spent time with the real Mendez to research his role. "He wanted to meet me at this old famous CIA bar in Georgetown where names were passed around. It sunk in that this was a real story about a real guy who worked in a real world where real lives were at stakes.
"It wasn't sliding down a building and kicking in a window, which is how Hollywood usually does the CIA," says Affleck who gave Mendez a cameo in the film.
"Tony is a very opaque guy. He's not beating his chest. He likes to fade into the background," Affleck says. "He instinctively doesn't want to be noticed, but he must make people do what needs to be done."
Affleck is doing what needs to be done as a director.
Affleck says that he knows this much about directing:
"It has been reinforced to me and it's a little cliché, but you can't make a movie without really good writing and really good acting. That lesson helps me not get distracted and focus on the essence of a story.
"That philosophy has taken me to a place that I really like," Affleck says.
BEN AT HOME
His wife, actress Jennifer Garner gives high marks to Ben the Dad. She tells me about a recent mugging of Ben in their driveway.
"He hadn't seen the kids in a week. The minute his feet actually hit the driveway, Ben had two girls hoisted up in the air – one kid in each arm.
"He looked at me with the biggest, happiest smile on his face," says Garner who is mom to their daughters Violet, 6 and Seraphina, 3, plus infant son Sam.
"As a husband and parent, he really earns it," Garner says.
At home, Affleck leads a quiet family life.
"You would be bored if you saw us in real life," he says. "We're all about who is giving the kids a bath and who is cleaning up that mess on the floor."
How do they make it work?
"We have that rule where only one of us works at a time and I think I get the better end of that deal," he says. "She's an amazing wife and mother. I'm really a lucky man," he says.
She says the girls have Ben wrapped around their little fingers.
"Oh, Ben's the total pushover. He's the worst pushover!" she adds. "It drives me crazy.
"We'll see how he is with a son. So far, he's too little to play rough with, but I know Ben can't wait," she says.
"My family keeps me grounded," Affleck says.