Casey Affleck Says ‘Personal Failures’ Fueled His Performance in Music Biopic ‘Dreamin’ Wild’

Casey Affleck is taking time to reflect.

The actor, who settled two lawsuits in 2010 accusing him of sexual harassment on the set of Joaquin Phoenix’s mockumentary film “I’m Still Here,” harnessed his “more personal failures” to transform into musician Donnie Emerson for musical biopic “Dreamin’ Wild.”

The film, which premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, is written and directed by Bill Pohlad (“Love & Mercy”) and tells the story of musical duo Donnie and Joe Emerson after their 1979 self-recorded album is re-discovered decades later. The film also stars Zooey Deschanel, Walton Goggins, Chris Messina, Noah Jupe, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Beau Bridges.

“I’ve experienced my share of failure so far, dashed hopes and collapsed dreams,” Affleck said during the Venice press conference, via Deadline. “These aren’t the worst of them, but I’ve been in a lot of movies that I thought would be great and they didn’t turn out to be great.”

One of those films? Andrew Dominik’s “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” which also debuted at Venice.

“When we brought ‘Jesse James’ here it had a nice warm reception, but the rest of the world thought it was a total disaster,” Affleck shared. “A failure of an expensive movie. And for a while, I thought to myself my greatest accomplishment is being in the Brad Pitt movie with the lowest box office.”

Affleck, who executive produced “Dreamin’ Wild,” noted that Dominik’s upcoming film “Blonde” is “incredible” and will wow audiences upon its Venice premiere.

“I’ve seen a couple of versions of ‘Blonde’ and it’s taken [Dominik] a long time to get it out into the world,” Affleck explained. “But that’s just how he is. He’s so slow with it. And it’s an amazing, beautiful film.”

Dominik previously shared that “Blonde” could not have been made without the #MeToo movement and it took years for the right time (and right actress with Ana de Armas) to bring Joyce Carol Oates’ portrait of Marilyn Monroe to the big screen.

“Manchester By the Sea” Oscar winner Affleck made his directorial debut with “I’m Still Here” and in 2019 directed “Light of My Life.”

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