It's a good thing Casey Affleck isn't a quitter because his breakout role in 1995's To Die For didn't come easy.
"I read six times," Affleck recalls of auditioning for the role in the Gus Van Sant-directed thriller co-starring Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. "I auditioned for that movie over and over again for the casting director and then I finally met the director and I read for him once and he said, 'That was good. Okay, you can do it,' and I got the part like that and I was like, 'That was easy!'
"Note to self: 'Don't read for casting directors, just get into the room with the director,'" Affleck added.
His very first audition was a lot different. He was a kid when he easily snagged a role in a commercial about a local news channel's weather reports.
"Even though it was sunny out, [the other kids in the commercial] knew it was going to rain because they watched the news," Affleck said. "So, they brought their umbrellas on their way to school and there I am laughing at them about carrying their umbrellas, overdressed on this sunny, clear day. Then the school lets out and it's pouring rain and it's like, who's having the last laugh now?...That was the first part I got."
Affleck has come a long way since then. The 41-year-old actor's latest work in Manchester By the Sea is attracting a lot of award season buzz.
Kenneth Lonergan wrote and directed the drama, which follows a janitor (Affleck) who has to return to his hometown to care for his nephew (Lucas Hedges) after his brother (Kyle Chandler) dies. Over the course of several days, Affleck's character is forced to face his tragic past with his ex-wife (Michelle Williams).
Manchester By the Sea is in theaters on Friday.