Entertainment Tonight: Who's idea was the blond wig? It looked like it was going to fall off your head!
Casey Affleck: Well, it wasn't about to fall off my head, let me tell you. They had that thing super-glued onto my scalp -- and my ears, forehead and everything else. I guess I have to say that it was NICK [GOMEZ, the director]'s idea, as much as I don't want to give him credit, because in the end I kind of liked it. I fought him on it pretty badly, but then I saw that NEVE [CAMPBELL]was wearing a wig that looked terrible, and JAMIE [LEE CURTIS]'s wig made her look like a gremlin. I was like, "You know, I might as well wear one."
ET: Even the writer described 'Drowning Mona' as the white trash 'Murder on the Orient Express.' Is that a pretty good description of this film?
Casey: Yeah, that's a great description of it. That's exactly how I would describe it. White trash 'Murder on the Orient Express.' Or else you could just call it "small town hell."
ET: Did you ever think that there were that many Yugos left in the world?
Casey: There weren't actually. They had to put a couple back together and ship them overseas. It was sad. That poor little company just fell apart.
ET: What was it like working on the set? You had several scenes with BETTE MIDLER, whose character was hell on earth. Was she staying in character to keep things intimidating?
Casey: That's a generous way to put it. Maybe she was staying in character. Maybe that's just her character. Nobody knows. It's kind of shrouded in mystery. She was always throwing grips around by their necks and beating people, chasing people with pots and pans. I thought maybe that's how she treated her assistants. I didn't know if it was a Mona Dearly thing or if her album didn't do too well and she was pissed off. I don't know.
ET: This is a pretty good ensemble cast, and the film moves along seamlessly. Did you know if you were going to be a suspect or the murderer?
Casey: I didn't know how it was going to end when I first read the script. Reading it, I had a feeling who was responsible, but I could tell it was the kind of thing where Bette Midler's character was so hateful that everyone wanted to knock her off.
ET: What was it like working with Neve? Neve has "Party of Five," 'Scream,' and all these other projects.
Casey: She's such a professional. She's done so much work and she's been around for so long that she kind of makes me look good. Every time I was bad in a scene, it cut to Neve and you could be sure that she was doing the right thing. She was reassuring, funny and sophisticated. I had no idea what she was like -- I had never seen "Party of Five," or any of the 'Scream' movies, believe it or not. I was pleasantly surprised because she's one of those people who's all over the Sassy magazine. It's like, Neve Campbell, Sixteen. I thought that she could be that girl on the cover of a magazine who is so bland, but it turned out that she had this whole, rich personality. And she was in love with me, which made it kind of easy.
ET: This is a pretty good cast. Were you excited to work with anyone in particular?
Casey: Yeah, I was really excited about working with DANNY (DeVITO), because he was one of those guys who I've seen in movies since I was a little kid. It's kind of like BRANDO in the same way that he's somebody that you don't really ever think about as a real human being. It'sjust this name and this person. So I was really excited about that. Then I got to the set and people like BILL FICHTNER and Jamie Lee Curtis were really, really funny and really, really good. They were always around keeping the atmosphere of the set really alive. Danny and Bette were kind of like the mom and pops, steadying the ship and making sure that the movie was really good. I felt I was in good hands with them.
ET: Bette told us that her daughter Sophie was really excited that she was working with you. Sophie has this crush on you. Did you get to meet her at all on the set, or did you even know that? Casey: I didn't know that. Bette's daughter? How old is she?
ET: A little too young for you.
Casey: That's sweet. That's nice.
ET: This is a good ensemble cast, and it's a quick moving film. Moviegoers are going to see this and get their first impression of you.
Casey: Yeah, it's an odd first impression to make. I hope they can get over it -- I hope they can forgive me. I'm nothing like that. I think people will see it and understand that everyone is so outrageous in this movie that they won't say, "Oh, that's Casey. Blond-haired, weird, bug-eyed and stupid." They'll know it's a character.
ET: There's a real town called Verplank. Does this movie portray any bit of the town or did you guys just pluck the name out of mid-air?
Casey: The guy who wrote it probably spent some time there. I don't think he plucked it out of Nowheresville, thought the people from Verplunk probably wish he called it Nowheresville. They might not be flattered by how they're portrayed. Where I grew up is just like Verplank. It's a little bit of a bigger city, but everyone's trying to kill each other, sleep with each other, and sabotage peoples lives. So it could've been anywhere. You seem like you might be from Verplank... [laughs.]
ET: How horrifying! It's okay. I'll forgive you for that one. You come from a family of actors. Your brother, BEN AFFLECK, has shot to stardom in the last couple of years and your name has become more prominent as people get to know you more and more. Any plans to work with Ben in the future?
Casey: I'd love to do something. Mostly because he works so much that I don't get to spend that much time with the guy. If we could work together, that might be the only time we get to hang out. Also, he's really good and his movies are usually very successful. I want to get on that.
ET: How do you feel now that the media spotlight lands on you, where you're doing more junkets, premieres and interviews? Are you up for the task?
Casey: Do you mean, "Am I having fun?" Yeah, I'm having a blast. I love it. I just want to do this all day -- tomorrow even. Do you want to talk? Are you gonna be around? We can talk some more. No, I don't mind. I like talking about the movie because it means people are watching it. Between the time that I finish the movie and doing press for it, I bore my friends and family just talking about it. I'm like, "Oh there's this other time! There's this scene!" They get sick of it. I can vent a little bit when people are actually asking me questions and pretending to care a little bit.
ET: Was there anybody on the set who was a prankster? There were so many pranks going on as is in the film.
Casey: Bette was kind of like that. I never knew if she was kidding or if it was really her. She'd be really abusive and do weird things. She'd make a stink and want your trailer for the day and make you sit on the curb in the rain until your scene was up. I didn't know if that was a prank or if she was doing that to try to get into character.
ET: Do you have bad Bette Midler dreams now?
Casey: The whole thing was kind of like a nightmare -- a big Bette Midler nightmare. So I got it out of my system. Now it's just sweet, comforting Neve Campbell dreams.
ET: What's up and coming for you?
Casey: This movie called, 'Committed' is coming out. It's directed by LISA KRUEGER and it has HEATHER GRAHAM and LUKE WILSON. It's very different from this, and I like it a lot. I wear a mask!
-- March 2, 2000