Affleck in June 2006
|Born||Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt
August 12, 1975
Falmouth, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||George Washington University
|Spouse(s)||Summer Phoenix (m. 2006)|
|Relatives||Ben Affleck (brother)
Joaquin Phoenix (brother-in-law)
Rain Phoenix (sister-in-law)
Liberty Phoenix (sister-in-law)
Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt (born August 12, 1975), better known as Casey Affleck, is an American actor, film director, screenwriter and producer. He first came to attention for his performances in Gus Van Sant's films To Die For (1995), Good Will Hunting (1997) and Gerry (2002). He appeared in Ocean's Trilogy (2001–2007), a caper comedy series, as Virgil Maloy.
Affleck gained widespread recognition in 2007, starring in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and Gone Baby Gone, directed by his brother Ben. In 2010, he directed the mockumentary I'm Still Here, starring his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix. He also received critical acclaim for his performance in Out of the Furnace and Ain't Them Bodies Saints (both 2013).
Affleck was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He has English, Irish, German, Scottish, French, and Swedish ancestry. His mother, Christopher Anne "Chris" (née Boldt), was raised on New York's Upper East Side by her mother Elizabeth Shaw (née Roberts), director of public information at the Museum of Modern Art for over 30 years, and her mother's second husband, Samuel Shaw, an attorney who served in World War II. Her father, O'Brien "Obie" Boldt, was a Democratic activist and professor of political science at the City University of New York. Chris was educated at Radcliffe College and Harvard University, was a Mississippi freedom rider in the 1960s, and taught at The Brearley School before becoming a public elementary school teacher. One of Affleck's maternal five times great-grandfathers was congressman Adam Rankin Alexander.
Affleck's father, Timothy Byers Affleck of Rhode Island, was a stage manager, director, writer and actor with the Theater Company of Boston in the mid-1960s and worked alongside Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Jon Voight and James Woods. During Affleck's childhood, he worked as an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a bookie, an electrician, a bartender and a janitor at Harvard University. His parents divorced when he was eight due to his father's chronic alcoholism. Affleck was raised by his mother. When Affleck was 13, his father moved to Indio, California, entered rehab, became an addiction counselor and later reconnected with his adult sons.
Affleck is three years younger than his brother Ben. They were childhood friends with actor Matt Damon. He was raised in a mostly Episcopalian family. As a child, he had numerous pets, including cats, snakes, guinea pigs and turtles. Affleck graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in June 1993. He was inspired by his high school drama teacher Gerry Speca. Affleck went to George Washington University for one year to study politics and later transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in physics, astronomy, and Western philosophy for two years, but never graduated. Affleck worked sporadically on television while finishing high school and attending college during the early 1990s.
Early work (1995–2006)
Affleck's first movie role was as a sociopathic teenager in Gus Van Sant's 1995 dark comedy To Die For, alongside Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, and Joaquin Phoenix. After co-starring with Halle Berry and Jim Belushi in the 1996 box office flop Race the Sun, the following year he appeared in two films featuring his brother Ben: Chasing Amy and Good Will Hunting.
Affleck's next few films, the underground movie Desert Blue (1998) with Kate Hudson, the black comedy Drowning Mona (1999) with Bette Midler, Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell, and Danny DeVito, and the 2001 horror movie Soul Survivors (co-starring Luke Wilson) were all critical as well as commercial failures.
In 2001, Affleck became part of an ensemble cast in the remake of the Rat Pack movie Ocean's Eleven, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Supporting the star leads, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Affleck played Virgil Malloy, one of the pair of Mormon brothers hired to drive the getaway vehicle. Affleck reprised this character in two sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). In the third installment of the trilogy, several scenes are set in Mexico and he has extended dialogue in Spanish. Affleck lived in Mexico as a child and speaks Spanish.
Affleck co-wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film Gerry with Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon. The film, about two men who get lost while hiking in the desert, received mixed reviews; after premiering at the Sundance film festival, it got only a limited release in the United States in 2003. In 2006, Affleck featured in Lonesome Jim and The Last Kiss, where he plays a friend of Zach Braff's character. He then made a cameo in the Joaquin Phoenix-directed video "Tired of Being Sorry" for Balthazar Getty's band Ringside.
In 2007, Affleck starred in the Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, playing Robert Ford opposite Brad Pitt's Jesse James. For his performance, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture, and an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Entertainment Weekly observed that "a revelatory Casey Affleck brings Ford to life with a mature sense of an underling's craven, fawning petulance." Other reviewers praised Affleck for being "terrific" and a "real revelation" while making "an indelible impression as the insecure, physically unprepossessing weakling."
Affleck also played his first leading man in a mainstream production in 2007. He starred in the Boston crime thriller Gone Baby Gone as the protagonist, Patrick Kenzie. Directed, produced, and co-written by Ben Affleck, the film was critically acclaimed and earned Casey further plaudits for his acting. The Boston Globe commented, "I'd never stopped to consider Casey Affleck as a movie star before, but under his big brother's tutelage, he blooms as a leading man of richly watchable savvy and intelligence." The New York magazine similarly praised Affleck's portrayal of the tough private detective and concluded, "Casey Affleck has never had a pedestal like the one his brother provides him, and he earns it. His Patrick is pale and raspy ... He’s not physically imposing, but he reels off four-letter words so fast that it leaves his bigger and more dangerous opponents staring in disbelief."
In 2010 Affleck released his first major directorial effort, I'm Still Here, a mockumentary about the musical career of his friend and brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix, who attempted to live a lifestyle of a rapper in one year. After much speculation, Affleck admitted shortly after the film's release that Phoenix's role was a "performance" rather than genuine behavior, stating that he "never intended to trick anybody", rather, the production was a work of "gonzo filmmaking" inspired by journalists such as Hunter S. Thompson.
Next, Affleck teamed with Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson in The Killer Inside Me (2010), a film adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name. In January 2010, The Killer Inside Me premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was received poorly by many critics and created controversy due to its graphic portrayal of violence against women, which prompted many viewers to walk out of the screening. However, critics generally praised Affleck's performance as a serial killer.
Recent work (2013–present)
Affleck starred opposite Rooney Mara in the independent modern-day Bonnie and Clyde film Ain't Them Bodies Saints and opposite Christian Bale in the drama Out of the Furnace, both released in 2013. In November 2014, he had a supporting role in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Affleck also co-wrote a screenplay with brother Ben and David Mandel for the baseball drama The Trade, to be directed by Jay Roach. He also sold an animated comedy television series to FOX.
Affleck and producer John Powers Middleton announced in June 2014 that they were launching a production company, Untitled Casey Affleck/John Powers Middleton Project. Affleck will serve as an equal share producer, while continuing to pursue writing, acting, and directing projects. Affleck is set to direct an as-yet-untitled biopic about baseball player Josh Hamilton, from his own screenplay. Jack Reynor is expected to star.
Affleck will play the lead in John Hillcoat's heist thriller Triple 9, set for release in February 2016. He has also signed on to star as Meriwether Lewis in an upcoming HBO miniseries based on the 1996 book Undaunted Courage. He is attached to star as a detective in Boston Strangler, to be directed by Mark Romanek.
Affleck married actress Summer Phoenix, his girlfriend of six years, on June 3, 2006 in Savannah, Georgia. The couple were introduced by her brother, Joaquin. They have two sons, Indiana August, born on May 31, 2004 in Amsterdam, and Atticus, born on January 12, 2008. He resides in Los Feliz, Los Angeles with his family.
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