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Ben Affleck’s love life is flourishing during coronavirus pandemic


Ben Affleck may be the one guy finding a silver lining in the coronavirus.

The Oscar winner has had his romance with actress Ana de Armas fast-tracked, as the two have shacked up — after a few months of dating — to quarantine together during the pandemic.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

“Ben was due on set [of ‘The Last Duel,’ written with and co-starring Matt Damon] and Ana was meant to be on a world tour [for the James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’],” said a source close to the couple. “To get to spend so much time together is a real blessing.”

This unexpected time off has meant that the new couple can get to know each other at Affleck’s $19 million mansion in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, walking their dogs, strolling the streets of Venice Beach and lining up with other customers outside Sidecar Doughnuts.

De Armas, the breakout star of last year’s movie hit “Knives Out,” moved in after the two took a romantic trip to Costa Rica and her native Cuba last month.

Affleck and de Armas are staying at his $19 million mansion in Pacific Palisades.Clint Brewer Photography / BACKG

“They’re really into each other, they get on extremely well and they certainly don’t seem to have any issues being holed up together 24/7,” the close source said.

While in Cuba, sources told The Post, de Armas, 31, introduced Affleck to her family. The actor, 47, was overheard speaking fluent Spanish, which he learned while starring in a kid’s TV program in Mexico at age 13.

De Armas’ childhood, meanwhile, was spent amid food rationing, fuel shortages and blackouts during the extreme economic strife of Cuba’s “Special Period” in the 1990s.

Her father, Ramón, was an educator, and her mother, also named Ana, worked in human resources for the government. The actress’ older brother, Javier Caso, a photographer based in New York, earlier this year posted to YouTube a recording of himself being interrogated by Havana police due to his links to Cuban filmmaker Miguel Coyula, who is under government surveillance following his controversial documentary “Nadie” about dissident Rafael Alcides.

A film industry source noted it’s sad that “her parents have never even been able to attend one of her premieres.”

De Armas has said that, as a girl, she would watch movies at a neighbor’s house because her family did not have a DVD player, then go act out the scenes for her brother. She moved to Madrid at 18 and starred in the teen TV show “El Internado.”

It was there that she met Marc Clotet, a model and actor. They split in 2013 after two years of marriage.

A year later she moved to LA to reinvent herself as a movie actress, despite speaking little English. De Armas told The Hollywood Reporter that for her role in “Knock Knock,” she learned her lines phonetically.

She dated Franklin Latt, a CAA talent agent who represents Bradley Cooper and Margot Robbie. She captioned a since-deleted Instagram photo from Latt’s birthday: “Happy birthday mi Amor. I love you more than anything.”

In 2017, de Armas co-starred in “Blade Runner 2049,” opposite Ryan Gosling, and shared on Instagram loved-up photos of herself with ­Cuban artist Alejandro Piñeiro Bello.

The actress took everyone by surprise with her turn last fall as a nurse in the buzzy “Knives Out,” earning an Oscar nomination for the role. She was supposed to make a splash this spring as a Bond girl, but “No Time to Die” was pushed to Thanksgiving.

The two quarantined together in Los Angles just a month after visiting the beaches of Costa Rica.CPR / BACKGRID

The film industry source, who described de Armas as “extremely sweet,” said of the actress: “You don’t get to Hollywood from Cuba if you haven’t got steely determination. She’s been living out of bags for the past few years, going from project to project.”

This is Affleck’s first real romance since splitting with “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus a year ago, following an on-and-off courtship.

The relationship comes after a hard year for Affleck, who has struggled with alcohol. Last fall, he was filmed stumbling drunkenly outside a Halloween party.

“Relapse is embarrassing, obviously,” he told The New York Times in February. “I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the Internet for my kids to see.”

A friend from Affleck’s early days in Hollywood told said the actor had demons during the first flush of success with “Good Will Hunting,” the Oscar-winning 1997 film he starred in and co-wrote with old pal Damon.

“He was always so friendly and brilliant, but you could tell there was a dark side,” the old friend told The Post of Affleck. “He could be gloomy on the turn of a dime.”

It was just after the Halloween incident that the actor took off for New Orleans to film “Deep Water” with de Armas. Set sources said there was “instant chemistry” between the two.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer in February, Affleck spoke about his life, crediting fellow sober stars Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. for support. Brad Pitt has also credited Cooper for helping with his sobriety.

Asked how he sees the future, Affleck said: “Five years from now, Ben Affleck is sober and happy . . . and in a healthy, stable, loving, committed relationship.”

An insider added that Affleck has been able to start a new relationship only after working on his issues, saying: “Ben continues to work hard on his health so that he can be there for his family.”

The actor has also been photographed recently with his kids with ex-wife Jennifer Garner, daughters Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and 8-year-old son Sam.

“He sees the kids a lot,” said a source who has worked with Affleck, adding that the divorced couple “still support each other. They have really worked hard at their relationship.”

Indeed, it was Garner who drove Affleck to rehab in 2018, despite them having split three years earlier, after his alleged affair with the family’s nanny.

But the brood has not been spotted with de Armas, and the insider said Affleck is keeping his love life and family life separate for now. Still, he certainly seems comfortable with de Armas, who has put on a fashion show — donning such stylish pieces as a leather minidress, a Gucci tracksuit and a Celine hoodie for the pair’s walks.

As Affleck’s friend told The Post: “Ben just wants to be calm, to focus on his work and be the best dad he can be. He wants to be happy. He wants a shot at a good, clean life.”