Affleck assembles all-star cast in gangster epic ‘Live by Night’

It looks like “Rogue One’s” reign at the top of the box office is going to come to an end this weekend. Ben Affleck is back in a movie that he wrote, directed, produced and starred in. That’s a lot of hats to wear. Now to a man who wears no hats, Deco’s Chris Van Vliet, who sat down with the cast of “Live by Night.”

We all know Ben Affleck the actor — “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Batman v Superman,” “Gigli.” But Ben Affleck the director might be even better. He directed “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” and then he did “Argo,” which won three Oscars.

He’s looking to make it four for four with “Live by Night.”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “I got one guaranteed life. I was going to live it. I had a plan.”

“Live by Night” takes us back to the roaring 20s. And even though it’s Prohibition era, booze is still free-flowing in underground speakeasies run by gangsters.

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “I don’t want to be a gangster. I stopped kissing rings a long time ago.”

Ben Affleck is Joe Coughlin, who doesn’t want to be a gangster, but also doesn’t want to play by the rules.

Ben Affleck: “‘Live by night’ means sort of living by your own rules, living by your own set of morals, unfettered by living by day, where you have to follow all the laws and rules and that sort of thing. There is a price for living by night, and that’s what the movie is about.”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “Do you think we got where we are by letting some inbreds muscle us?”

Ben’s character is an outlaw, and he finds out everyone has a price. Even the chief of police.

Chris Cooper: “Chief Figgis just sort of has a meeting with these fellas, Joe and Dion, and he wants to set up the permits. ‘You can do your business. I’ll just turn a blind eye.'”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “You know what happens if you don’t help me.”

Chris Cooper (as Chief Figgis): “No, I don’t.”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “More bodies are going to pile up.”

Now, Joe may be an outlaw, but he steps over the line when he gets involved with a mobster’s girlfriend, played by Zoe Saldana.

Zoe Saldana: “I feel like the more time she spends with Joe, the more she realizes, ‘We could do this if we continue to work at this.'”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “You don’t think I’m strong enough?”

Zoe Saldana (as Graciela): “I don’t know if you’re cruel enough.”

Ben Affleck (as Joe Coughlin): “Powerful men don’t have to be cruel.”

Now, Ben, do you think you could describe this movie using as many adjectives as you can possibly think of?

Ben Affleck: “Punchy and sexy and dramatic and full of great themes: revenge, true love, vengeance, loyalty. It’s cops and robbers, mobsters knocking each other off, the whole thing.”

Oh, very nice.

“Live by Night” opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 13.

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