“Manchester by the Sea” is racking up some major awards season buzz. The drama scored eight Critics’ Choice nominations on Thursday and is looking like a top Oscar contender. Deco’s Chris Van Vliet flew to Toronto to chat with Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams about this heart-wrenching film.
Casey Affleck (as Lee Chandler): “I don’t understand.”
Josh Hamilton (as Wes): “Which part are you having trouble with?”
Casey Affleck (as Lee Chandler): “Well, I can’t be the guardian.”
Casey Affleck gives the performance of his career in “Manchester by the Sea.”
Casey Affleck (as Lee Chandler): “I’m just a backup.”
C.J. Wilson (as George): “Lee, nobody can appreciate what you’ve been through.”
Casey plays Lee, who is surprised to find out he has been made the guardian of his teenage nephew after the tragic death of his brother. He is forced to go back to his hometown and face the demons he’s been running from, including a messy divorce from Michelle Williams’ character.
Michelle Williams (as Randi): “I said a lot of terrible things to you. My heart was broken, and I know yours was broken, too.”
Casey Affleck (as Lee Chandler): “No, you don’t understand.”
Chris Van Vliet: “With the amount of layers that this character has and with so much going on there, is this the most difficult character you’ve ever played?”
Casey Affleck: “That’s a good question. There were a lot of inside layers happening that you want to bring to the outside without showing them, I guess. It’s a kind of complicated and boring answer.”
Lucas Hedges (as Patrick Chandler): “All my friends are here. I’ve got two girlfriends and I’m in a band. You’re a janitor in Quincy. What the hell do you care where you live?”
The movie is beautifully directed, with incredible performances from the entire cast, as it touches on some heavy subjects.
Michelle Williams (to Casey): “I don’t know how you did it. I mean, I would jump in and out — my part’s not so much — and it would take me a while. I don’t know how you would shake it.”
Chris Van Vliet: “How did you do it, Casey?”
Casey Affleck: “It was just one of those days in your life where you go, ‘Boy, I was really unhappy for a while,’ you know?”
Casey Affleck (as Lee Chandler): “If you could take one guy to an island with you, and you knew you’d be safe because he was the best man and he would keep you happy, if it was between me and your father, who would you take?”
Chris: “At the start of the film, your character has this line where he talks about, if you were to take one guy to an island who would take care of you, who’s that person for you guys?”
Casey Affleck: “I read recently a funny quote by some famous director. He said, ‘If i was deserted on an island, all I would need is food, water and a grip.’ I thought that was funny. It doesn’t land for every crowd, but it tells you the mind of a true director.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Some people watching this are gonna go, ‘What’s a grip?'”
Casey Affleck: “Yeah, I know.”
“Manchester by the Sea” is out in limited release.
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