Oscar winner Casey Affleck on Thursday said his directorial debut, the indie survival drama Light of My Life, is no personal response to earlier sexual misconduct allegations against him, or the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements.
“It’s not. I wrote this movie and made this movie before all of those things became part of the conversation, became so much about the global and online culture. And thank god for that,” Affleck told a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival, where his film is having a world premiere as part of the Panorama program.
Light of My Life, which also stars Elisabeth Moss, portrays a father and his young daughter who are trapped in the woods as humanity teeters on the brink of collapse. Though two civil lawsuits filed against Affleck were settled in 2010, the allegations against him resurfaced while the actor was promoting the Oscar-winning film Manchester by the Sea in 2016.
“The things in the movie were really close to my heart and were not in any way a response to anything in the culture. I can’t say what people will think when they see the movie,” Affleck, who also wrote the original script for the project, said.
“I hope people keep their minds open and be responsible and measured in their reactions. And people can talk for themselves. It’s not something I can control,” he added.
Teddy Schwarzman, whose Black Bear Pictures label produced and financed Light of My Life, fielded a question about whether measures were taken during filming of the indie to ensure a safe working environment.
“I don’t think any of the people on this crew felt anything other than a real joy in being there,” he told the Berlin media. Affleck, who was also joined in Berlin by co-star Anna Pniowsky, said he accepted that, as a successful, Oscar-winning actor, his private life had been made public.
That meant being “followed around by cameras and all kinds of unpleasantness,” he added. “It’s definitely difficult some times. I’ve developed a very thick skin. But then my kids, they aren’t so thick-skinned. And then I have to do a lot of explaining to them,” Affleck said.
He added the impact of the sexual misconduct allegations controversy on his children had him at one point re-evaluating his Hollywood career, before deciding to carry on as an actor.