Ben Affleck's 'Homeland' directing conflict: Jennifer Garner!

ben-affleck-homeland.jpg Ben Affleck could teach "Homeland's" Nicholas Brody ( Damian Lewis) a thing or two about being a devoted dad and husband.

Accepting the Career Achievement Award at the Casting Society of America's annual Artios Awards Oct. 29, the "Argo" filmmaker explained that a deal with his wife of seven years, actress Jennifer Garner, forced him to pass on directing the critically acclaimed Showtime thriller's pilot.

"It's true! I was going to do 'Homeland,'" he admitted, after casting director and Artios winner Libby Goldstein teased him (in rhyming couplets) for backing out. "I liked the show," Affleck shared. "I signed on. The guys were ready."

Turns out he had another commitment -- to his family.

"I don't want to blame it on 'her,'" Affleck continued, "but my wife and I have an arrangement where when she works, I don't work and when I work, she doesn't work. She said, 'I have this movie, it's 10 weeks, it's in Atlanta.' I said, 'OK, forget it. I'm sure nothing will happen with it anyway.'"

Of course, "Homeland," now midway through its second season, went on to garner six Emmy awards and --ouch -- a Directors Guild Award for Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot.

"Let me tell you something: I hate that f***ing show," Affleck joked. "I've never seen a frame of it and I hate it."

"I want to thank my wife, who is spectacular and who puts up with me and is a doll, who is the reason I didn't do 'Homeland,'" concluded Affleck, who will likely nab an Oscar nomination for directing "Argo." "But she is also the reason why my children [ Violet, 6, Seraphina, 3, and Samuel, 8 months] know my name!"

Here is Goldstein's poem in its entirety:

ben-affleck-jennifer-garner-2011.jpgWhen we met for the job
We asked who was going to direct
And both Howard and Alex answered
Who else? Ben Affleck.

Ben? We both said
Could it be? Is it true?
Uh huh, Alex said -
Oh wow -- what a coup.

So we put out the word
Kinda casual and cool
And got all of you guys
To submit like a fool.

Ben? Everyone said
He's directing the show?
Well here is my "A" list
This thing's gonna go.

And week after week we said
Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben
Then one fine day
We heard something about ... Jen!

She had gotten a film
Or some sort of thing
And she wanted him home
Well, she does have the ring!

Or maybe it was Argo
that put an end to our plan
Whatever it was
It ended bing, bang, boom, bam!

But, by then no matter,
The die had been cast
Just the fact that Ben might have
Was all we could ask

So here's some advice
When you all get a show
Just say Ben is directing,
Who'll ever know?

And right before you have to,
Say, "it's something about Jen"
The stamp of approval will already
Have been gotten from Ben.

And who's laughing now?
Michael Cuesta for sure
The backup to Ben
Who's got kudos galore

So -- a toast to Ben
For all that he did
And the whole thing was free
Take that, WME!!!!
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images