When Casey Affleck landed his first IMDb recognised role in Lemon Sky, he was only 13 years old. For many child actors, this means a cajoled routine ensues, but Affleck has defied that by having a richly varied career both in front of and behind the camera, having written and directed two feature-length films.
This longevity and varied career stems simply from a love of cinema that started at a very early age. As he explained to Entertainment.ie when they asked him about his personal favourite films: “There are so many films but there were a few movies early in my life that I saw at probably too young an age and they sort of made an indelible impression. They definitely shaped who I became as an actor and maybe in some ways as a person. I saw The Elephant Man when I was very, very young and I was really scared and saddened by it, and then watched it a thousand times after that because I was real obsessed with it.”
The emotional epic from 1980 bucked director David Lynch’s surrealist trend to deliver to a conventional story of John Merrick’s life. The movie’s profound view of superficial judgement proved as affecting for Affleck as it did for many audiences. And it is clear to see that the humanised side of the film has had an effect on Cassey’s understated yet emotional acting style in films like Manchester by the Sea, for which he took home an Oscar.
The next film that Casey took time to mention was, The Harder They Come. It is the story of a struggling reggae singer, played by a legend of the genre Jimmy Cliff, who finds himself embroiled in the world of drugs. “I was a movie I saw in the movie theatre. I was a young kid and my best friend’s mom was taking care of us,” Cassey recalls. “She dragged us to a movie theatre, and it was full of people smoking and talking back at the theatre. I was probably six or seven and I was just like ‘what?’ I remember everything about it.”
Another film with a darker edge enters his favourites in the form of a Sergio Leone epic. “I really got into the spaghetti westerns for a while, like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that was a movie I saw a lot of,” Casey declares. With this choice, he joins a long list of cinephiles, including Quentin Tarantino who championed it as the “greatest achievement in cinema.”
The last collection of films to complete his list come from his childhood. “I was a kid of the 1980s, so I saw all those great, great ’80s movies,” Cassey claims. “The ’80s was not known for its great movies but it’s becoming more so, I think, remembered with some nostalgia. From Close Encounters to Goonies and Stand By Me, Teen Wolf, dare I say. So they’re a lot of good movies in there, or at least movies I thought were good anyway because I was a kid.” The glossy-eyed straight-up fun of these 1980s classics are triumphs that many fans would join Cassey in lauding.
Casey Affleck’s favourite films:
- The Elephant Man
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- The Harder They Come
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Stand By Me
- Teen Wolf