“Manchester by the Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan says Lee Chandler, Casey Affleck’s character, isn’t as “inexpressive” as many filmgoers think — he just deals with his emotions in a way that can seem “weird and wrong.”
“It’s funny, I don’t think of him as being inexpressive, he’s just expressing different emotions from what people would expect in the different situations he’s in,” director Kenneth Lonergan said in an exclusive featurette. “You learn eventually, that’s because he’s trying to hold them at bay because they are just too much for him. For instance, he shows up at the hospital and his brother has passed away and he’s upset — but he’s upset in a very different way from how the other people there expect.”
Lonergan added, “you can tell that Lee is also upset but you cannot tell in what way — there is something weird and wrong with the way he channels his feelings.”
“Manchester by the Sea” follows Lee as he returns to his hometown to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Chandler turns out to be haunted by a tragedy of his own.
“He’s a guy who can’t quite get around the tragedy that has happened to him and you see that manifested in many different ways,” added producer Kevin J. Walsh. “The simplicity with which he lives his life, the tension and the anger he carries… when we meet him, he is still a shell of the guy he used to be.”
The film, nominated for six Academy Awards, also stars Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler. It has grossed $46.1 million at the worldwide box office and and has received rave reviews from critics. It currently holds a score of 95 “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Casey can really make you feel all the levels of what’s happening with the characters he’s playing,” said producer Chris Moore. “You have to have an actor like that in order to pull of a role like this.”
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