They say you can’t go home again, but you can sure win awards for it. Casey Affleck picked up Best Actor at the 22nd annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday for his role in Manchester by the Sea. In the film, Affleck plays a Boston janitor who returns to his eponymous hometown to take care of his nephew after his brother’s death.
“Thanks to Denzel [Washington] and Tom Hanks for decades of inspirational work. Thank you very much,” Affleck began his speech, tributing his fellow nominees. “I have to acknowledge that Kenneth Lonergan and Damien Chazelle won the [Best Screenplay awards] which seems like a funny thing to skip over considering none of us would be here without that. They probably would write some interesting speeches, I would gather.”
After thanking his Manchester costars — including Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges — Affleck continued: “I’ve known [Lonergan] for about 20 years, so finally he gave me a shot. That was a good one and I appreciate it. Kenny, I love you. It’s really nice to be in such company, I admire all of you.”
The film’s power comes from its emotional rawness and deep conflicts between characters. According to director Kenneth Lonergan, this was mirrored in his occasionally contentious on-set relationship with Affleck.
“We yelled at each other a lot,” Lonergan told EW 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.”
The critics agree with Lonergan. Watch Affleck’s acceptance speech above, and click here for a full list of Critics Choice Award winners.