Lopez and Affleck first met while filming Gigli in late 2001. They wouldn’t start dating for another several months — Lopez was still married to her second husband, Cris Judd — but according to these photos taken on set in December 2001, they had clear chemistry from day one.
In December 2002, they attended the premiere of Lopez’s film Maid in Manhattan. At the time, Lopez told Diane Sawyer he was “brilliantly smart... loving, charming, affectionate. And I just admire him in every way.”
In March 2003, they attended the Academy Awards together. “Jennifer is a really wonderful, fabulous woman, smart and interesting,” Affleck told Vanity Fair that month. “Spending time with her makes me a better person and a happier person.”
In July 2003, they attended the premiere of Gigli. The movie famously flopped, but it did bring Bennifer closer together. “The truth is that when we did start working together, we got along great,” she told Access Hollywood at the time. “We really did become friends, really good friends.”
Still, there weren’t any hard feelings. “It was just a lot of pressure,” Lopez reflected in a 2016 interview with People. “I think different time, different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there.”