Casey Affleck

BATD ON May 28, 2010 AT 1:13 pm

Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck, unlike his brother Ben, isn’t the type of actor you’ll probably ever cross paths with. Even though he made my head turn at a Soho House party in LA looking pretty handsome, he’s not a wild party animal. He won’t be in the front row at the next Oscars (though he’s had enough nominations for them), and he and his wife are far from “Brangelina” status. A former Physics major and dedicated vegan foodie who loves filming his own movies almost as much as he loves acting in them, Casey simply isn’t your typical starlet. One thing is for sure: this Hollywood star has talent, and enough of it to go around.

Born in the small town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, Casey had nothing other than Ben’s acting genes to rely on. His mother is a school district employee, his father a social worker. Affleck lived a relatively normal life until he attended George Washington University, later transferring to Columbia University in New York, where he majored in physics and astronomy. After graduating, Casey almost immediately landed the role of a sociopathic teen in the 1995 comedy To Die For, alongside buddy Joaquin Phoenix and bombshell Nicole Kidman. His next film, Race the Sun, was an utter failure, so he decided to follow brother Ben’s footsteps, appearing alongside him in Chasing Amy and Goodwill Hunting for two successive years. Talk about family bonding! Goodwill Hunting was a box-office success, and marked the beginning of a string of acting gigs for both Afflecks. (Each won awards for Best Original Screenplay.) After filming Desert Blue with rising star Kate Hudson, Casey took time away from the big screen before starring in Drowning Mona and Soul Survivor. He later admitted to being ashamed of both films, and for good reason. Luckily, Casey gained leverage with the Ocean’s Eleven series and an all-star cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts.

Casey with wife Summer

After firmly rooting himself in the acting scene, Casey did an about face and turned to screenwriting, collaborating with Matt Damon on the film Gerry (2002). Five years later, he was ready to be back on camera. The Assassination of Jesse James (2007) was wildly successful; Affleck received a nod to the Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor, an SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance, and came just shy of an Oscar. A year later, Ben filmed Casey in Gone Baby Gone, which proved a bigger success than either brother anticipated. Looks like each Affleck has a bit of unrequited filmographer in them! And each has a passion for the same type of woman; Liv Tyler has had on (and off) screen romances with both brothers. After six years of playing the field, Casey settled down with Joaquin Phoenix’s sister, Summer. The couple has two children, Indiana and Atticus, with another baby on the way.

So what is this rugged actor’s next endeavor? Casey can be seen in the much buzzed about Sundance film festival selection The Killer Inside Me costarring Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba. And while brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix embarks on a music breakthrough, Affleck is behind the scenes with a camera every step of the way, compiling Phoenix’s successes and screw-ups into a documentary called “Resurrecting Joaquin from Ashes”. Thrill us, Casey. It’s about time!

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