Casey Affleck –

Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea.

About Casey Affleck (1975 – ____)

Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck was born on August 12, 1975 in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the son of Christopher Anne "Chris" (née Boldt) and Timothy Byers Affleck. The surname "Affleck" is of Scottish origin. He also has English, Irish, German, and Swiss ancestry. His mother was a Radcliffe College– and Harvard–educated elementary school teacher. His father worked sporadically as an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a bookie, an electrician, a bartender, and a janitor at Harvard University. In the mid-1960s, he had been a stage manager, director, writer and actor with the Theater Company of Boston.

During Affleck's childhood, his father was "a disaster of a drinker." Following his parents' divorce when he was nine, Affleck and his older brother, Ben, lived with their mother and visited their father weekly. His first experience of acting was "reenacting what was happening at home" during role play exercises at Alateen meetings. He learned to speak Spanish during a year spent traveling around Mexico with his mother and brother when he was ten. The two siblings spent "all of our time together, pretty much. Obviously at school we were in different grades, but we had the same friends." When Affleck was 14, his father moved to Indio, California to enter a rehabilitation facility, and later worked there as an addiction counselor. Affleck reconnected with his father during visits to California as a teenager: "I got to know him, really, because he was sober for the first time... The man I knew before that was just completely different."

At the age of eighteen, Affleck moved to Los Angeles for a year to pursue acting, and lived with his brother and their childhood friend Matt Damon. Despite having "the best possible first experience" while filming To Die For, he spent much of the year working as a busboy at a restaurant in Pasadena and decided to move to Washington D.C. to study politics at George Washington University. He soon transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he followed the core curriculum for a total of two years. However, he did not graduate: "I would do a semester of school, go do a movie... Opportunities kept presenting themselves that were hard for me to turn down... By then, I didn't really have roots at the school or a group of friends."

Affleck acted professionally during his childhood due to his mother's friendship with a Cambridge-area casting director, Patty Collinge. In addition to local weather commercials and movie extra work, he appeared as Kevin Bacon's brother in the PBS television movie Lemon Sky (1988), directed by Collinge's husband Jan Egleson, and as a young Bobby Kennedy in the ABC miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts (1990). These early acting experiences "meant nothing more than a day off from school" to Affleck, and he only began to consider a career as an actor when in high school. When he later moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career in earnest, his first movie role was as a sociopathic teenager in Gus Van Sant's 1995 satirical comedy To Die For. During filming in Toronto, Affleck shared an apartment with co-star Joaquin Phoenix and they became close friends. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised Affleck's performance, saying he "skillfully captured the pang of adolescence among no-hopers."

While studying at Columbia University, Affleck had a supporting role in Van Sant's Good Will Hunting (1997), written by his brother and Matt Damon. Despite arranging a first meeting between Van Sant and his brother to discuss the project, Affleck was reluctant to leave college temporarily to act in the film. He was eventually persuaded to play one of four friends living in South Boston — a role written specifically for him — and improvised many of his lines.

Affleck's career then entered a "dark" period, with a series of supporting roles in critical and commercial failures. He later remarked: "It dawned on me late that I should be selective about what I do." In the independent comedy Desert Blue (1998), he starred opposite Kate Hudson as a small-town jock. In 1999, he made an uncredited cameo in the teen comedy American Pie and appeared as a punk-rocker romantically involved with both Gaby Hoffman and Christina Ricci's characters in the New Year's Eve ensemble comedy 200 Cigarettes. In the comedy Drowning Mona (2000), starring Danny DeVito, Affleck played a shy gardener suspected of murder. Also in 2000, he had a small role in the comedy Attention Shoppers and played Fortinbras in Ethan Hawke's Hamlet. He then appeared as the brother of Heather Graham's character in the romantic comedy Committed (2001). Also in 2001, he had a small role in American Pie 2 and appeared in the teen slasher film Soul Survivors.

Affleck found a degree of commercial success when he was cast in Steven Soderbergh's heist comedy Ocean's Eleven (2001), starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Damon. In roles Soderbergh originally intended for Luke and Owen Wilson, Affleck and Scott Caan played Mormon brothers and wisecracking mechanics who help to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. While it was a "great, fun social experience," Affleck spent much of his time on set "being, like, 100 feet away from the camera in the background." He would later reprise his role in 2004 and 2007 sequels. In 2002, Affleck and Damon starred in Van Sant's experimental drama Gerry, playing two men who get lost while hiking in the desert. Affleck, Damon and Van Sant conceived of the idea and wrote the screenplay together while living in neighboring New York apartments. The film, which had minimal dialogue, received mixed reviews.

Affleck's first leading role was in 2006's little-seen independent comedy-drama Lonesome Jim, directed by Steve Buscemi, playing a depressed writer who returns from New York to live with his parents in Indiana, and begins a relationship with Liv Tyler's character. Also in 2006, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy The Last Kiss as a friend of Zach Braff's character.

2007 was a breakthrough year for him, with the release of two films featuring critically acclaimed performances. The first of these performances was in the Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, in which he played Robert Ford to Brad Pitt's Jesse James. Affleck auditioned repeatedly for the role. While the director Andrew Dominik had seen Affleck in Gerry, he cast him partly because of his "beautiful-sounding voice. The voice is the thing that really gets you." For his performance, Affleck was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

While he was filming Assassination, Affleck was visited by his brother who offered him the leading role in his directorial project, the Boston crime thriller Gone Baby Gone (2007). While his brother was a first-time director and in the midst of a career downturn, Affleck had confidence in the project: "I felt like I knew him better than anyone else did." His performance, as an inexperienced private investigator tasked with finding a missing child, earned Affleck further plaudits for his acting.

While The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone were a financial failure and a modest box office success respectively, Affleck's acting career had come to a turning point. However, he lost career momentum while directing I'm Still Here (2010), an edgy mockumentary about the musical career of friend and brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix. While Affleck later clarified that it was "a planned, staged and scripted work of fiction," there was much media speculation during filming about whether Phoenix's public behavior was performance art or a genuine breakdown. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said the film "turns out to be much more interesting to speculate about than to actually watch." Looking back on the experience in 2016, Affleck said: "We never thought people would actually think it was real ... In hindsight, we should have had a press junket and done talk shows and said how it was a mockumentary."

Affleck used his own money to fund I'm Still Here and, after running out of cash, filming was paused for a month to allow him to play a Texan serial killer in Michael Winterbottom's crime drama The Killer Inside Me (2010). He later expressed regret over the movie's graphic violence. Philip French of The Guardian found him "disturbingly brilliant" while Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised "a mesmeric, implosively powerful performance." Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times said Affleck "showcases his uncanny ability to project a person holding two thoughts in his head at once, as he often gives away nothing in his face to convey the firestorm obviously raging in his soul." Affleck then had a supporting role in the heist comedy Tower Heist (2011) and voiced a character in the 2012 animation ParaNorman.

Affleck returned to regular acting work in 2013. "It was ugly for a minute... I sort of remembered why I liked acting and I missed it." In David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), Affleck and Rooney Mara starred as outlaw lovers in 1970s-era Texas. Affleck was drawn to the opportunity to play a character who "was a much better person than anyone thought," after a string of roles as "assassins or murderers or just creeps."

The opportunity to act opposite Christian Bale in the drama Out of the Furnace "reinvigorated" Affleck and reminded him why he enjoyed acting. In 2014, Affleck and Jessica Chastain had supporting roles in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar as the grown-up children of Matthew McConaughey's character.

Affleck starred in three films in 2016, the first two of which underperformed financially. In John Hillcoat's crime thriller Triple 9, Affleck played an incorruptible detective. Justin Chang of Variety described him as "one of the most persuasive leading men of his generation" while Brogan Morris of Paste Magazine declared him "maybe Hollywood's best offbeat leading man... Few actors can suggest so much with such quiet precision, and even here Affleck is compulsively watchable despite his undercooked character." In Disney's disaster drama The Finest Hours, Affleck played a taciturn engineer on board a sinking ship. David Sims of The Atlantic said he "gives the kind of measured, thought-out performance he's so eminently capable of, even if the film isn’t complex enough to rise to his level... He animates an introverted character with subtle mental busywork whenever he's on the screen."

In his final role of 2016, Affleck starred as Lee Chandler, a grief-stricken man in Kenneth Lonergan's drama Manchester By the Sea. One of the film's producers, Matt Damon, initially intended to star in the film. When scheduling conflicts made this impossible, Damon agreed to step aside on the condition that he be replaced with Affleck. Lonergan readily agreed, remarking that Affleck was "the natural person to go to." Affleck had close relationships with both men and had previously offered notes on early drafts of the script. The movie was a box office success, and Affleck's performance received widespread critical praise. Affleck won the Golden Globe, BAFTA and National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for his performance, and has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

After dropping out of Lowery's Pete's Dragon in order to star in Manchester by the Sea, Affleck reteamed with the director to star opposite Rooney Mara in the experimental drama A Ghost Story, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2017. He will next star in and direct the survival drama Light of My Life from his own script. In early 2017, Affleck will film his third collaboration with Lowery, this time opposite Robert Redford in the outlaw drama The Old Man and the Gun. Affleck also has a directorial project in development. He intends to direct the Western Far Bright Star, which will star Joaquin Phoenix.

Casey Affleck's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1995To Die ForRussell Hines
1996Race the SunDaniel Webster
1997Chasing AmyLittle Kid
1997Good Will HuntingMorgan O'Mally
1998Desert BluePete Kepler
1999200 CigarettesTom
1999American PieTom Myers
1999FloatingPrep #1
2000Drowning MonaBobby Calzone
2000Attention ShoppersJed
2001Ocean's ElevenVirgil Malloy
2001American Pie 2Tom Myers
2001Soul SurvivorsSean
2004Ocean's TwelveVirgil Malloy
2005Lonesome JimJim
2006The Last KissChris
2007Ocean's ThirteenVirgil Malloy
2007The Assassination of Jesse James
by the Coward Robert Ford
Robert Ford
2007Gone Baby GonePatrick Kenzie
2010The Killer Inside MeLou Ford
2010I'm Still HereHimself
2011Tower HeistCharlie Gibbs
2012ParaNormanMitch Downe
2013Ain't Them Bodies SaintsBob Muldoon
2013Out of the FurnaceRodney Baze, Jr.
2014InterstellarTom Cooper
2016Manchester by the SeaLee Chandler
2016The Finest HoursRay Sybert
2016Triple 9Chris Allen
2017A Ghost StoryC

Casey Affleck's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1988Lemon SkyJerry
1990The Kennedys of MassachusettsRobert Kennedy (Ages 12–15)
2010WWII in HD: The Air WarJoe Armanini (voice)
2016Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Casey Affleck include...

Year Movie Award
2007The Assassination of Jesse James
by the Coward Robert Ford
Best Supporting Actor (Nominated)
2016Manchester by the SeaBest Actor (Nominated)

Memorable Quotes by Casey Affleck

“I don't think journalists have much impression of me. I haven't really done all that many interviews, partly by choice, and partly because no one's been all that interested. ”

“I believe veganism can be beneficial for the individual and the world, and of course the animal, but belief is like laying in the dark with someone and telling them you love them and hearing nothing back. So I've never had the confidence to get on a soapbox and tell someone else what to do.”

“I love taking a risk. If I'm a little bit afraid of a part, that's the first indication that it's going to be good for me. If I can't find that element of risk in the material, I always hope that the director is going to be open to taking chances. With this movie ['Out of The Furnace'] I was lucky enough to have both elements. The material was different, difficult and a little bit scary. As a director Scott [Cooper] fostered an environment where risk was the common currency. We knew we were going to take risks, even if it meant making mistakes. And that's the best kind of experience.”

[on working with Christopher Nolan in Interstellar] “There is not much I can say except that it's pretty incredible to work with somebody who is on top of his game. He is not only very talented, but also very successful. He has the keys to the kingdom in a way. He's got every tool in his disposal; every tool he wants. It makes for a very interesting set. I kinda felt privileged just to be hanging out and watching him work. He sets a really nice tone on the set; everyone is very relaxed. It probably costs a million dollar a minute just to be there.”

“We obsess about celebrities. We create them, build myths around them, and then hunt them and destroy them. I don't know where it's taking us or what it means, but I know we do it. I have seen a lot of it myself.”

“I love getting ready to do a scene, and thinking about it, and talking about it. But the rest of the time, I'm so nervous and obsessed. I'm just tearing my hair out in the trailer. The whole time I'm really tense.”

Things You May Not Know About Casey Affleck

Attended Columbia University, majoring in Physics. During this time he lived with his grandma in Manhattan.

His ancestry is mostly English, Irish, German, Scottish, and Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and distant/remote Swiss-German, Swedish, French, and Welsh. His maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Raymond Boldt, was born in Rhode Island, to German immigrants, and his maternal great-grandmother, Anne Rita Lenihan, was Irish, born in County Down.

In the 2003 March issue of Nylon Magazine, when questioned Casey Affleck admitted to not being proud of two movies in his career: Drowning Mona (2000) and Soul Survivors (2001).

His older brother Ben and his fiancée's older brother, River Phoenix, have both played versions of characters played by Harrison Ford. Ben Affleck played Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears (2002), and River Phoenix played the young Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

He and his brother Ben Affleck have both had on-screen romances with Liv Tyler: Lonesome Jim (2005), Armageddon (1998) and Jersey Girl (2004).

His mother purchased work by Boston acclaimed photographer Brian Carroll as a gift to Casey, for the back-to-back premieres of Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).

_0002_triple-9-pic1-with-teresa-palmer _0001_triple-9-pic2-with-anthony-mackie _0000_triple-9-pic3-with-e-roger-mitchell-anthony-mackie-ian-casselberry
Casey Affleck in Triple 9 (2016)... top picture with Teresa Palmer, middle picture with Anthony Mackie, bottom picture with E. Roger Mitchell, Anthony Mackie, and Ian Casselberry.
With Ben Stiller in Tower Heist (2011).
_0007_the-last-kiss-pic1 _0006_the-last-kiss-pic2-with-lauren-lee-smith _0005_the-last-kiss-pic3-with-zach-braff-eric-christian-olsen-michael-weston _0004_the-last-kiss-pic4-with-zach-braff-eric-christian-olsen-michael-weston
The Last Kiss (2006)... second picture with Lauren Lee Smith...
third and fourth pictures with Zach Braff, Eric Christian Olsen, and Michael Weston.
Affleck in The Killer Inside Me (2010)... top picture with Kate Hudson.
Affleck with Josh Stewart in The Finest Hours (2016).
Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)... top picture with Zooey Deschanel... middle picture with Brad Pitt... bottom picture with Brad Pitt, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell, Garret Dillahunt, Jeremy Renner, and Paul Schneider.
In Race the Sun (1996), with Dion Basco, J. Moki Cho, and Anthony Ruivivar.
_0021_out-of-the-furnace-pic1-with-christian-bale _0017_out-of-the-furnace-pic5-with-willem-dafoe
Affleck in Out of the Furnace (2013)... with Christian Bale in top
and middle pictures... bottom picture with Willem Dafoe.
In Ocean's 11 (2001)... top picture with Scott Caan... bottom
picture with George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Carol Florence, and Shaobo Qin.
In Ocean's 12 (2004) with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Don Cheadle,
Matt Damon, Elliott Gould, Scott Caan, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner, and Shaobo Qin.
In Ocean's 13 (2007), with Luis Chavez.
_0031_manchester-by-the-sea-pic1-with-kyle-chandler-ben-obrien _0030_manchester-by-the-sea-pic2-with-matthew-broderick-gretchen-mol-lucas-hedges _0029_manchester-by-the-sea-pic3-with-stephen-henderson _0028_manchester-by-the-sea-pic4-with-cj-wilson-lucas-hedges-jami-tennille _0027_manchester-by-the-sea-pic5 _0026_manchester-by-the-sea-pic6-with-michelle-williams
Affleck in Manchester by the Sea (2016)... top picture with Kyle Chandler and Ben O'Brien... second picture with Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, and Lucas Hedges... third picture
with Stephen Henderson... fourth picture with C.J. Wilson, Lucas Hedges, and Jami Tennille... bottom picture with Michelle Williams.
Affleck with Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (2014).
With brother Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Cole Hauser in Good Will Hunting (1997).
_0036_gone-baby-gone-pic1-with-ben-affleck-michelle-monaghan _0035_gone-baby-gone-pic2-with-amy-ryan _0034_gone-baby-gone-pic3
Affleck in Gone Baby Gone (2007)... top picture with
brother Ben and Michelle Monaghan... with Amy Ryan in middle picture.
_0040_drowning-mona-pic1 _0039_drowning-mona-pic2-with-neve-campbell-jamie-lee-curtis-danny-devito-paul-ben-victor-mark-pellegrino-paul-schulze _0038_drowning-mona-pic3-with-will-ferrell _0037_drowning-mona-pic4
In Drowning Mona (2000)... second picture with Neve Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, Paul Ben-Victor, Mark Pellegrino, and Paul Schulze... with Will Ferrell in third picture.
Casey Affleck in Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)... bottom picture with Rooney Mara.