Casey Affleck goes under a sheet for ‘A Ghost Story’

Lindsey Bahr
Associated Press

Los Angeles — Casey Affleck plays the ghost in the new David Lowery film, “A Ghost Story.” For most of the movie, he’s silent and cloaked in a white sheet with eye holes cut out as he returns to his home to look in on his still-living partner played by Rooney Mara. It’s a weird, wild, sometimes funny and breathtakingly gorgeous film that will leave you thinking about the big ideas of love, life, eternity.

Affleck, coming off of a best actor win for “Manchester by the Sea” and an awards season marred by intense public scrutiny around a past civil sexual harassment lawsuit, is dipping his toes back in the spotlight to promote the film.

He spoke to the Associated Press about his year and moving on.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

AP: Congratulations on “A Ghost Story.” It is not a scary film per se, but it has truly haunted me.

Affleck: It’s been great how much people have responded to it. Usually you have some sense of what a movie is going to be and this is probably the film that turned out most differently than what I expected.

The ghost costume you have to wear is incredible.

I can’t think of another single costume in another movie where so much of the movie depended on it working. The sheet looks simple, but it wasn’t just a sheet and it was hard to get it to look that way.

It was a perfect balance of not being exactly scary, but not seeming silly and also not seeming slapdash.

How did they convince you to be in a movie where you are acting through a sheet most of the time?

I may be unusual, I can’t say for sure in this regard, but when I heard that I was like, “I’m totally in.” The idea of being hidden somehow was so appealing to me. And David doesn’t have to persuade me. I have so much fun working with him and Rooney and his producers. It was a three-second conversation.

It’s a fairly contemplative film, do you think it has a broader audience than just cinephiles?

I don’t really consider myself a cinephile. I have pretty mainstream tastes. I have an appetite for some difficult movies like Tarkovsky movies or Bela Tarr movies.

But I also kind of really just love “World War Z,” too. And I love this movie. I think it’s really, really moving and romantic and sweet and full of ideas that I wasn’t really aware of.

A good movie tends to bring out all of these ideas from other things that you read and this movie does that in a way that’s really accessible. I don’t think it’s a weird, esoteric, experimental art house movie at all. It’s very touching, just not dumbed down.