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Casey Affleck’s strong awards season push continued Sunday night at the Golden Globes, where the Manchester by the Sea star took home the trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama.

This marks the actor’s first Golden Globe victory, having previously been nominated in 2008 for his supporting performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

In his acceptance speech, Affleck thanked director Kenneth Lonergan (“This is all because of you”) and costar Michelle Williams, saying, “There’s no award that belongs to just one actor. I wish that Michelle could be on stage with me because she made most of it work. She’s perfect.”

Affleck teased Matt Damon for passing on the role. “I suspect you won’t be passing on any more movies in the future when I might be nearby,” he joked. He also quoted Denzel Washington’s 2000 Golden Globes acceptance speech. “I remember years ago when Denzel got up here and said, ‘God is love.’ And well, I agree.”

In Manchester, Affleck stars as Lee Chandler, a man forced to confront his tragic past when he returns home to raise his nephew after the death of his brother. “I read the script and I just loved it,” he previously shared with EW. “I thought, ‘Well, this is the kind of thing where if nobody sees it, it won’t matter, it’s worth doing.'”

Sunday night’s win comes on the heels of numerous accolades for his Manchester role, including from the Critics’ Choice Awards and the National Board of Review. Affleck has also been at the center of controversy, as a pair of 2010 sexual harassment lawsuits filed by two women against the actor in civil court resurfaced in the wake of the film’s release. (Affleck denied the claims and later settled the suits for undisclosed sums.)

Affleck faced stiff competition, beating out Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences).

Manchester by the Sea
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes

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