Manchester by the Sea is honestly one of the best movies of the year.
When I was invited to a special screening and q and a with stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and director Kenneth Lonergan I knew I had to go.
Scotty and Lisa were also on hand and I have to tell you, seeing the film for the second time, I was very impressed with how many more nuances I was able to pick up. It was pretty incredible.
Michelle Williams was running a little late for the screening but eventually joined in.
“It was a little bit daunting and exciting. There were some things about the part I didn’t think I knew how to do. But I think I understood not just my part but everyone on the page.” Said Casey Affleck, “They are all real people I thought I understood. Even the parts I was nervous about, I thought I would safe with Kenny.”
When asked about the script Kenneth had a lot to say:
“The first draft was chronological, and it was hard for me to get interested in it.” Said Kenneth Lonergan. “After six or eight months I was frustrated, and I threw out everything and started with Lee shoveling snow and got the idea of front loading everything.”
“Sometimes you get to a scene and you wish you would have done something, but those ideas often had I been able to execute them often would have been mistakes.” Laughed Casey Affleck.
“This is someone who is carrying his memories and having two stories unfold was a key to unlocking the story.” Added Kenneth Lonergan.
When asked about the rehearsal time, Michelle Williams added a lot to the discussion:
“We had a few days sort of around a table and sort of talking it out and I was able to read not just my part but everyone else as well.” said Michelle Williams, “that was the extent of the rehearsal process and you have to take it upon yourself to make your own rehearsal process. I would just go and talk and meet people.”
“The prep wasn’t just about those details, Michelle is so good at finding them though. The prep of understanding your character and finding out how Kenny wants it done.” Casey Affleck said, “I’m a believer of playing for the coach, and I believe in getting that vision. That was my prep, trying to keep up with Michelle and following Kenny’s wishes.”
“I invited myself over someone’s house before school because she had three kids and we had coffee, I try to not squander that time, you can tell yourself that day is not going to come, but those days will be there and you have to be prepared.” added Michelle Williams, “I would stop people on the street and I talked to this guy and asked him to talk into a tape recorder and said come over meet my friend, she has all these kids, and so I did. I brought coffee and we hung out for the morning. If you can just get one tidbit it’s worth the trek and uncertainty of it.”
After the screening, we talked with Michelle Williams for a bit but it was super fast. She signed my Interview magazine for me as well as my Manchester By The Sea mini poster. She did a couple pictures but I couldn’t get in for one. Doh!
However, we did talk with Casey Affleck and he was super nice. He signed my Gone Baby Gone mini poster and we did a quick photo as well. He really was over the top nice.
It was a fun afternoon!
Until next time kids…