Casey Affleck Wins Best Actor Oscar for ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Manchester by the Sea star Casey Affleck took home the Oscar for Best Actor at the 89th Academy Awards Sunday, February, 26. He bested Fences’ Denzel Washington, La La Land’s Ryan Gosling, Hacksaw Ridge’s Andrew Garfield and Captain Fantastic’s Viggo Mortensen, who were all nominated for the prize as well. Watch his speech in the video above and keep up with tonight’s ceremony with Us Weekly’s live blog!

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Casey Affleck accepts the award for best actor in a leading role for "Manchester by the Sea" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Casey Affleck accepts the award for Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

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“This means so much to me, thank you,” said Affleck, 41, who hugged older brother Ben on his way to accept the award. During his speech, he acknowledged writer-director Kenneth Lonergan and his fellow nominees. He singled out Washington as the person “who taught me how to act.” The visibly emotional star kept his comments brief and continued, “I’m really proud to be a part of this

In Manchester by the Sea, Affleck plays a Boston janitor who returns to his hometown to care for his teen nephew following the death of his older brother. Lonergan admitted that he and Affleck butted heads on set as the actor delivered his emotionally raw performance. “We yelled at each other a lot,” Lonergan told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. “We
developed a very comfortable, mutually abusive working relationship.… I
expected a tremendous performance from Casey, and … what I got was even
better than I had expected.”

Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck in ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ Claire Folger/Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios

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Affleck prevailed at the Oscars despite being plagued by controversy. Some in the Hollywood community felt the younger Affleck was undeserving of accolades due to two now-settled sexual-harassment lawsuits. While making the indie film I’m Still Here in 2008 and 2009, Casey allegedly behaved inappropriately with two women who also worked on the movie, they claimed. In 2010, the actor, who denied the allegations and called the lawsuits “extortion,” settled both for undisclosed amounts.

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