Transcript for Ben Affleck on his supportive friends in Hollywood, sobriety and new movie, Part 2
All right, we are back now with more of that ABC news exclusive, Diane sawyer's one-on-one interview with Ben Affleck. He is opening up about his personal struggles with addiction and depression and now this morning sharing more on how he's moving forward with his family and with the help of a few famous friends. Diane is here with more on this. It has been amazing to see him open up like this. It has and so many people have come up to me to say they want to thank him for being one of the new age of Hollywood leading men who are talking about recovery as their strength and helping other people but it just goes to show you never know what's ahead when you look up and see a new kid on the block. There he was more than 20 years ago a new face lighting up Hollywood. Ben Affleck and his childhood buddy Matt Damon had written a little movie called "Good will hunting" and it won the Oscar. And the Oscar goes to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Reporter: On stage they were just two guys from Boston. In disbelief. Who else? Chris. Thank you so much the city of Boston. Whoever we forgot we love you. Thank you very much. Reporter: It didn't take long for Affleck to become a certified star and in person so well read, so mischievous. In my first interview he does an improv of Bill Clinton. You got a feeling he might just I take you by the hand, say, well, Diane, you know, we've got the biggest surplus in American history. We created 22 million new jobs and he just -- he does, he feels your pain, a little town called hope. Reporter: Today at 47 he's always ready to make fun of himself. On the cover of all those magazines as a superhero and a Hollywood heartthrob. And now he's single again. Looking back on our 25 years doing interviews what have you learned about yourself and women? And what? Women. Oh, my god. Reporter: He reportedly had used a dating app raya. Wait a minute. What is the website? Raya. I am not on any websites. Oh, you've left? I am not -- I am on no dating -- not on tinder, grindr, grinder, bumble, humble. I am not on any of them. I do not -- I don't have any judgment about anybody who is. They have a fun time but not me. I would love to have, you know, a relationship that was deeply meaningful and one to which I could be deeply committed. So what's the question you would ask you right now? Gosh, now, that's a question I didn't expect. I guess I would ask myself, you know, what do you want? You know, the rest -- the next maybe I got 40 more years, you know, what do you want that to look like? Reporter: Which brings us back to what he told us yesterday about alcohol and the powerful genetic hold of addiction on so many in his family including his dad. He says with sobriety he can now understand more about the anxieties and the depression that have haunted him since the age of 26. I get depressed. I take antidepressants. They're very helpful for me. I've taken them since 26 years old. Various different kinds and switched, tried it and tried sometimes they won't tell you about some awful side effect and come back and say why am I 60 pounds heavier? You put on a little weight. Oh, well, thanks. Reporter: And he also tells me now with sobriety he has a new appreciation of a healthy day. He likes discipline, routine. Starting with the gym in the morning. Then work. He has just written a new screenplay with Matt Damon but he says far and away the most important part of his life is the time he spends with his children. He shares parenting duties with his ex-wife Jennifer garner. If it was one of my days with the kids pick them up at 3:00 and usually they have soccer or swim meet or, you know, enough stuff that your time is mostly taken up as chauffeur. I like to find some sort of sense of meaning and purpose, you know. I was not raised religious. I -- I am not a very good Christian. Although I go to church with my kids because it was important to Jennifer and now I go too and I like it quite a bit. Reporter: Inside every ordinary moment, the extraordinary gift of another chance. Do you ever say to yourself maybe, maybe I can -- I can go back, we can go back and reset time and have that family intact again? You know, there are things that I would love to go back and change. I have regrets. I -- you know, I made plenty of mistake, some big, some small. I wish I could go back in time and change all kinds of things but I can't. Reporter: But what he can do is lead the new breed of Hollywood leading men, Brad Pitt, Bradley cooper. I got sober because of this guy and every day has been happier ever since. Robert Downey. Robert Downey. And, you know, guys like I found like Bradley and, you know, Robert have been really helpful to me and really supportive and they're wonderful men. Reporter: And now he's using what he's learned to tell stories like the one in his new movie, "The way back." He plays a coach, a former athletic star struggling with alcohol who teaches a team of underdogs to believe in themselves. So here we are two interviews 20 years apart. On the left the boy wonder, on the right the 47-year-old man looking at the new path ahead. Five years from now you want people to say Ben Affleck is -- Five years from now Ben Affleck is sober and happy and sees his kids 3 1/2 days a week and has made three or four movies that are interesting to directed two that he's hopefully proud of and is in a healthy stable loving, committed relationship. See you in five years. See you in five years. I really set myself up for that one, didn't I? Better make it now. And there he is. You know, he says one of the things that he believes for him he's been reading a lot is that you plan your day around what gives you joy and what gives others joy and not around the negative of regret because he's -- regret will be the thief of your time and your hope. He answered his own question. He knows exactly what he wants. That's true. That's true. He had it. Oh, by the way I want to tell you about all those kids in the movie and adores them and thinks they're so good. He went up to them and asked what can I give you for what you did on this film and he wanted something -- thought it would be spiritual and moving and important and purposeful and they said can you take us to las You know, I don't know if they've gone yet but he goes, okay, I'll go to Las Vegas. What is crazy, doing all those things that give him joy but watching him and knowing what he's come through and sitting down with you and opening up like that will give a lot of people hope. It has already. I do believe it has already and he's the first to say I don't have the answers but every person's journey is a reminder that you can do what you need and want to do in your life. That's the truth. How remarkable he has that community coming forward to lift him through this. You're going to have more tonight on "Nightline." You're not done yet. Wait, do I? Here? And the movie "The way back" hits theaters March 6th. Coming up our "Play of the
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