Credit: Claire Folger

Manchester by the Sea — about a man (Casey Affleck) who must return to his hometown to take guardianship of his nephew (Lucas Hedges) after his brother passes away (Kyle Chandler) — is the kind of film that will break your heart into a million tiny pieces and haunt your every waking thought for weeks. Yet writer-director Kenneth Lonergan says that while the film deals with painful subject matter, he and Affleck still had a pretty good time. Well…sorta.

“We found moments of levity,” Lonergan says. “We yelled at each other a lot. We developed a very comfortable, mutually abusive working relationship.” It worked. “I expected a tremendous performance from Casey, and…what I got was even better than I had expected.”

For more from our Holiday Movie Preview, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here – and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Manchester by the Sea arrives in theaters Nov. 18. You can see an exclusive new image from the film below and watch the cast discuss the film in the video above.

Credit: Claire Folger
Manchester by the Sea
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes