Casey Affleck: 20 years in the shadow of Ben and an Oscar ruined by allegations of sexual abuse

Casey Affleck without his characteristic beard, at the Cannes festival for the film Elvis, in May 2022 (REUTERS / Sarah Meyssonnier)

It took a lot for Casey Affleck artistically to stop being just “Ben’s brother” and live overshadowed by his figure. For two decades he played secondary characters. However, the youngest of the Afflecks, he managed to make a name for himself, with an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Bafta and also, with a great, indelible scandal.

Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt was born on August 12, 1975, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. For a few days he does not celebrate his birthday with Ben, who was born on August 15, 1972.

The boys’ mother, Anne, was a school teacher and their father, Timothy, made a living in many ways: as a janitor, mechanic, waiter, and social worker. While finishing high school, Casey began to take her first steps on television. He enrolled in two universities, George Washington and Columbia, but did not graduate from either. Your interests from him? Physics, astronomy and western philosophy.

A childhood memory of the Affleck brothers.  Casey, left and Ben, right (@caseyaffleck)
A childhood memory of the Affleck brothers. Casey, left and Ben, right (@caseyaffleck)

His landing on the big screen was in 1995 in the black comedy All for a dream, by Gus Van Sant, starring Nicole Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix and Matt Dillon. Before long, he worked on two movies with his brother. The first was chasing amy (1997) and the second El indomable Will Hunting, an award-winning film, co-written by Ben and Matt Damon, in which they were also part of the cast alongside Robin Williams. His and Matt’s brother (whom they discovered was a distant cousin of theirs), won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

While Ben became extremely famous and prestigious, Casey continued in his role as a supporting actor. In 1999 he was part of 200 cigarettesa film about twenty-somethings in the world of dating, again with his brother, and in 2001 he joined the cast of Ocean’s ElevenSoderbergh’s casino heist film, with Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

A year before achieving his great promotion, Casey married Summer Phoenix, the younger sister of Joaquin and River (who had died of an overdose in 1993) with whom he had been dating for six years. They both had a son, Indiana August (2004), named after his deceased uncle who had played the young Indiana Jones in the last crusade. They had another son, with an exotic name, Atticus (2008). “The brothers of” remained together for 9 years until 2016. That same year he began his relationship with actress Floriana Lima.

Casey and Summer were together for 9 years and had two children.  (Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Casey and Summer were together for 9 years and had two children. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)

In 2007 with the premiere of the film The murder of Jesse James by the cowardly Robert Ford, the press heaped praise on Casey’s performances in a co-star opposite Brad Pitt. About his success he said in an interview: “I got into this race very slowly. After a long time, you’re good at a movie and people wonder: Where had you been? Did he come out of nowhere? But you know he’s been doing this forever.”

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The western character put himself in the shoes of a gunslinger overshadowed by another who was already a legend of the Wild West, whom he ends up assassinating from behind. There were not a few media that continued with the hateful comparisons between him and his Oscar-winning brother, who dated famous actresses, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez.

Long-awaited success was marred in 2008 by serious behavioral issues on the set of a mockumentary I’m still here, which dealt with actor Joaquin Phoenix’s alleged launch as a hip hop star. This work, in which he made his directorial debut, marked him for life, both for being a fiasco and for having been singled out for sexual harassment and abuse.

An image from the mockumentary I'm Still Here starring his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix (The Grosby Group)
An image from the mockumentary I’m Still Here starring his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix (The Grosby Group)

The case was never clarified, the actor admitted that the filming was not professional and was settled out of court for unknown sums of money, with a confidentiality agreement in which they can no longer speak on the subject. The producer Amanda White asked for 2 million dollars for sexual harassment and another of the victims, Magdalena Gorka, director of photography, demanded 2.25 million. The first claimed that Casey had grabbed her tightly after rejecting her advances. While the second, she said that the director had appeared in her bed while she was sleeping and had hugged her.

His career continued to go from strength to strength, beyond what happened. In 2016 her acting work was recognized with an Oscar in the film Manchester by the sea. “Casey Affleck enters the elite of the giants,” New York’s Time Out magazine wrote about his performance. Casey almost missed out on shooting this movie because she wasn’t the first choice to star in it. Who was behind the film from the beginning was Matt Damon, one of its producers who also wanted to direct and act. But he decided to abandon the project because he had too many commitments and could not delay the film.

Casey Affleck raised his Oscar as best actor for Manchester by the sea (EFE Jeff Lipsky)
Casey Affleck raised his Oscar as best actor for Manchester by the sea (EFE Jeff Lipsky)

That night the Oscar was disputed with Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington, who was cool to him when he mentioned him at thank-you time, for teaching him how to be an actor. One of the few, because that night in 2016 the famous attendees gave him a standing ovation and many applauded him. There was his brother who was the first to hug and kiss him. In 2017, with the birth of the Me Too era, and in the midst of the accusations, Casey missed the ceremony with notice when it was his turn to present an award according to tradition, which was for Frances McDormand. The case had been revived and he was saved from being talked about, although in any case he could not do anything in front of the media that told the reason for his notorious absence. Instead, the award was announced by two women: Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster. The fact was a triumph for the Me Too.

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However, the new era of Me too did not harm him too much because he continued working as if nothing had happened. In 2019 he shot his second film as a director, Light of my life, which this time starred without repercussions. The subject was very curious. A virus had eliminated women from the planet and he was the father of the only survivor whom he had to protect from all malicious men.

On sentimental relationships, he talked about his and also that of his brother with JLo. “Sometimes I feel that marriage should be reserved for people over 40, because when you are young you don’t know anything about yourself,” she said. the actor of Manchester by the sea He is in a relationship with Caylee Cowan, 26 years old. The relationship came to light late last year. Very happy for his present, he stated on his Instagram account: “I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I’m determined to work it out and keep doing it forever. As long as it beats, you have a place in my heart. I hope you stay a long time. Love you. Casey”. The young woman recently became aware of her because she woke up at her house in Los Angeles and there was a man looking at her. He fled with some of his belongings and was arrested.

In Cannes with his current girlfriend Caylee Cowan (REUTERS / Piroschka Van De Wouw)
In Cannes with his current girlfriend Caylee Cowan (REUTERS / Piroschka Van De Wouw)

About his brother’s media relationship, according to the medium OK! a source revealed that Casey found the couple “shallow” and that he is “allergic to the circus that Ben’s life has become and it’s just not a world he knows or cares to navigate.”. The same source specified: “He is a guy who is always searching, reading and writing and trying to understand himself. The fancy parts of being famous don’t interest him and that Ben and Jen are at the center of the entire Los Angeles social scene, which Casey finds frivolous and which he has truly divorced himself from.”

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