You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Casey Affleck Talks Working With Rooney Mara on ‘A Ghost Story’: She Doesn’t Need a ‘Ton of Dialogue’

The creative team behind “A Ghost Story,” which received its European premiere at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this week, has developed a sympatico relationship they intend to return to again, says Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck, director David Lowery and the producer duo behind the idiosyncratic film and their next venture, “Old Man and the Gun.”

After finding their groove with 2013’s laconic western noir “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” the group, including producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, was determined to return to small films, working as close colleagues.

“Everything I do is very personal,” Lowery says. “I don’t really think too much about why it is.”

Inspired by the true story of a bank robber with an incredible string of successful heists — and jail escapes — the group brought the “Old Man” script to Robert Redford and the project recently wrapped filming, with Elisabeth Moss, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Keith Carradine.

Lowery confesses he was surprised how fast his script for “A Ghost Story,” a decidedly offbeat supernatural tale, came together. “I usually take forever to write anything.”

Affleck, who took the best actor Oscar this year for “Manchester by the Sea,” says he couldn’t quite grasp the concept for “A Ghost Story” on his first read but had enough faith in Lowery to know it would all turn out well. With the film’s portrayal of a musician named only C killed off after the opening scenes and skipping forward and backward in time, it’s perhaps not surprising that the director’s vision needed to be seen to be fully grasped.

But Lowery, for his part, was certain who had to be beneath the sheet with cut out eyeholes.

“As soon as it was done, I called Casey and Rooney (Mara) right away and said ‘You have to be in this.’”

Affleck was also willing to help Lowery discover the limits of what an actor can express without a visible face or body. The answer turned out to be an awful lot, the two discovered, even if subtitled thoughts are needed at one point when C’s ghost spots another spirit living in the house next door.

Lowery went with a classic 1.33:1 aspect ratio, he says, because the framing would help to trap Affleck’s character between dark edges.

“On a thematic level, it’s basically about a character who’s stuck in a box for eternity.”

Lowery brings a unique mood and tone to his films, Affleck says. “I really like his sensibility. I like the things he likes.”

Actors are at the mercy of directors, he adds, walking into their world when they arrive on set.

“If you feel at home and you can live in that world that makes your job that much easier.”

As for working with Rooney Mara again, who last shared the screen with Affleck in “Aint Them Bodies Saints,” the actor says he knew she would work for the role of C’s lover, whom his ghost obsessively watches but can’t interact with.

“She can show a huge range of emotions with her face in moments where she’s just alone,” says Affleck. “She doesn’t need a whole ton of dialogue to communicate a lot of things.”

More Film

  • Echo in the Canyon review

    Film Review: ‘Echo in the Canyon’

    Arguably the most sturdily crafted and entertainingly anecdotal documentary of its kind since Denny Tedesco’s “The Wrecking Crew,” a similarly nostalgic celebration of artists who generously contributed to the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation, Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” offers a richly evocative and star-studded overview of the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene. [...]

  • Alain Berliner To Direct Cannes-Set ‘Second

    ‘Ma Vie en Rose’s’ Alain Berliner Directs Star Cast in ‘Second to Nun’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Page Three Media and Artemis Productions, which backed “The Danish Girl,” announced in Cannes “Second to Nun,” a new feature from Golden Globe winning director Alain Berliner. Berliner’s decades-ahead-of-its-time “Ma Vie en Rose,” the tale of a young transgender girl with dreams of growing into a mature woman and marrying the boy next door, was [...]

  • Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed

    Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed in Johnny Depp Starring 'Minamata'

    Andrew Levitas has carved out a unique place in the art world, having used his considerable skills across multiple creative platforms. A filmmaker, painter, sculptor, producer, writer, actor and photographer, Levitas is also the founder of Metalwork Pictures, a media production company that develops and produces original content, including his 2014 directorial debut, “Lullaby,” as [...]

  • Oliver Laxe

    Cannes: ‘Fire Will Come’s’ Oliver Laxe on Classicism, Avant-Guard, Egos

    CANNES  —    Spain’s Oliver Laxe returns to Cannes for the third time with“Fire Will Come” (O Que Arde), competing in Un Certain Regard— the first time a Galician-language film is selected for Cannes. He has pedigree. His first time round, in 2010, Laxe snagged a Fipresci nod for his Directors’ Fortnight title “You All [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal'La Belle Epoque' premiere,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on Cannes Out of Competition Screening ‘Chicuarotes,’ Hope for Mexico

    CANNES  —  There’s a scene right at the beginning of “Chicuarotes,” Gael García Bernal’s second movie as a director, where Cagalera and Moleteco, two teens from the humble San Gregorio Atlapulco district of Mexico City, board a bus in clown’s makeup, and launch into a clumsy comedic sketch. Maybe because it’s delivered in San Gregorio [...]

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

  • Marco Bellocchio The Traitor Cannes

    Director Marco Bellocchio Talks About Cannes Mafia Drama 'The Traitor'

    Cannes veteran Marco Bellocchio’s vast body of work spans from “Fists in the Pockets” (1965) to “Sweet Dreams,” which launched at Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. The auteur known for psychodramas and for bringing the complexities of Italian history, and hypocrisy, to the big screen is back, this time in competition, with “The Traitor,” a biopic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content