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over 3 years ago

Ben Affleck Grins, Is Bushy-Bearded as He Returns to Boston: Photos (US Magazine)

Nice beard, Batman. Ben Affleck returned to his hometown of Boston on Wednesday, Sept. 30, where he grinned and showed off his bushy beard.

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice actor, 43, looked happy to be back in Beantown as he scouted locations for his upcoming Prohibition-era crime drama, Live By Night. Sporting full facial hair for the homecoming, Affleck dressed casually for the outing in jeans and a light gray North Face anorak.

PHOTOS: Ben and Jen -- the way they were

Affleck will direct, produce, and star in the film adaptation of Dennis Lehane's best-selling 2012 novel. In August, Warner Bros. pushed back the release date of the movie from October 2016 to 2017.

PHOTOS: Hollywood's bearded boys -- before and after!

His latest endeavors continue after a rough past summer. Affleck and Garner announced their split after 10 years of marriage on June 30. Then, in July, Us Weekly exclusively revealed that Affleck, post-split, had embarked on a relationship with Christine Ouzounian, the former nanny of their three kids.

Affleck unwittingly made headlines this past week after his best friend, Matt Damon, defended him in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "There's nobody who's more misunderstood," Damon said of Affleck. "Ten years ago, the public image of him could not have been farther apart from who he actually is. It was like he was being cast in a role, that he was a talentless kind of meathead, with his whole relationship with Jennifer Lopez."

PHOTOS: Celeb splits of 2015

In fact, Damon said "it was just really painful" watching Affleck during his famed engagement with Lopez, which lasted until January 2004. "It was painful to be his friend, because it wasn't fair, you know? To my mind, nobody really got him at all," Damon continued. "And through his work, he climbed from the bottom of the mountain all the way back up to the top and past where either of us had ever been."

PHOTOS: Celeb men in uniform

The two are currently developing more movies together through their joint venture, Pearl Street Films. Damon will star next in a Robert F. Kennedy biopic as the late senator who was assassinated in 1968. "It's a wonderful script," Damon said of the movie, while expressing his ambitions to also direct like Affleck.

"I have to find the time," the Martian actor told THR. "I have to find the right project that's going to fit with my life."

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This article originally appeared on Ben Affleck Grins, Is Bushy-Bearded as He Returns to Boston: Photos

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