Ben Affleck crazy for “Jersey Girl”

Kerri Lester

At some point in their lives, even the most sensible girls become star-stricken. This peculiar affliction lasts a few days, weeks or even months, and revolves around the hope of spotting a celebrity. Symptoms of this disease have been caught on early television clips and show as teenagers in beehive hairdos crying hysterically at the Beatles’ first American performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

This might seem a bit extreme to you. Maybe you have done little more than go to seven showings of “Titanic” at the age of thirteen. But what if you suddenly learned that your favorite star would be shooting his latest film only minutes from your home?

Kevin Smith, writer and director of “Mallrats” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” is the screenwriter and director of “Jersey Girl,” to be released in November. It is a comedy about fatherhood based upon Smith’s own life experiences with his 2-year old daughter, Harley Quinn Smith.

Production of this film started early this fall and is expected to last about 10 weeks. Most of the shooting is being done in the Philadelphia area, with the remaining parts completed in New Jersey itself.

“Jersey Girl” takes place in the mid-’80s, where Jennifer Lopez plays the part of a single mother with a 6-year-old daughter who falls for a bachelor, played by Ben Affleck.


If you are a girl, the wheels may now be turning in your head. Is there a chance of meeting this stud during the movie production? Some girls have already beat you to it. Over the last few weeks, there have been crazy stories floating around campus about girls determined to meet Affleck any way they can. Some are convinced he is staying at the Four Seasons, the swankiest hotel in Philly, and have staked out the hotel lobby until the wee hours of the morning.

While most star-searchers have come up empty handed, freshman Jenn Cook had an encounter last week that many girls would give their right arms for. A resident of Broomall, Pa., Cook heard a rumor that Affleck was shooting some scenes at Haverford Hospital, a facility only a few minutes from her home. After Cook’s last class one day, she headed over, camera in hand, and staked out the scene for a little while. An hour passed, then another. Then, she caught a glimpse of Affleck himself. He started walking towards her, as she snapped pictures all the while. When he got within arms reach, Cook excitedly asked Ben for a hug. He smiled, and with those puppy dog eyes, replied, “Sure, sweetheart.”Does this sound unbelievable? Cook herself can hardly believe it happened. “I’m so star-struck by the whole experience,” Cook said. Jenn Cook will probably never forget this encounter. But in the rare case she does, she has one hell of a picture to remind her.