Bennifer dazzle in first red-carpet appearance in 18 years

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez dazzled the paparazzi with public displays of affection on the red carpet. PHOTO: AFP
Actor Ben Affleck and singer-actress Jennifer Lopez at the Venice Film Festival. They rekindled their romance earlier in 2021. PHOTO: GOSSIPROOMOFF/INSTAGRAM

VENICE - Actor Ben Affleck and singer-actress Jennifer Lopez returned to the red carpet as a couple at the Venice Film Festival on Friday (Sept 10).

It was the biggest public moment for the pair, dubbed Bennifer, who had rekindled their romance earlier this year.

The last time they walked the red carpet together was in 2003, at the premiere of their film Gigli, which bombed at the box office. They called off their engagement the following year.

This time round, they dazzled the paparazzi with public displays of affection on the red carpet for the premiere of Affleck's latest movie, The Last Duel.

Lopez, 52, wore a daringly low-cut, figure-hugging white gown, while Affleck, 49, cleaned up nicely in a black tuxedo.

Photos of them kissing and canoodling swept through social media, and even Affleck's ex, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, had to comment on one of them, saying: "Okay, this is cute."

However, a day after their red-carpet triumph, Affleck got into a scuffle at the airport while they were leaving Venice.

He was intercepted by an aggressive man trying to take his photo, and the Oscar winner put his hand on the man's chest and pushed him away during the brief encounter. His security team then stepped in to defuse the situation.

The Venice Film Festival concluded on Saturday, with director Audrey Diwan's Happening - about illegal abortions in 1960s France - taking the Golden Lion, capping a festival rife with female-focused themes.

Best Director went to iconic New Zealand auteur Jane Campion for her emotionally complex western, The Power Of The Dog, with British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. The Best Screenplay award went to Maggie Gyllenhaal for her directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, starring British Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

Spanish star Penelope Cruz took home the Best Actress award for her starring role in Parallel Mothers, her latest collaboration with legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

And Best Actor went to Filipino actor John Arcilla, who won for his star turn in On The Job: The Missing 8, playing a radio host forced to rethink his support for the government after a series of assassinations.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.