A Valuable Lesson Casey Affleck Learned On The Set Of Ocean’s Eleven

Somehow, this year will mark 20 years since Steven Soderbergh brought together George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle and more for a star-studded remake of the 1960 heist classic Ocean's Eleven. In retrospect, the casting was still absolutely on point in terms of assembling some of the most iconic talents of our time.

When CinemaBlend spoke to Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck about his time on Ocean’s Eleven as Virgil Malloy -- from the team’s getaway driving department -- he spoke about how the early experience was unique to his versatile career. In his words:

One thing I learned was movies don’t have to take a lot of time. There were twelve people and they were all movie stars, except for me basically, in every scene of that movie and those guys would be done with the scenes in like 15 minutes. Steven Soderbergh would shoot that thing – you know the day’s work was supposed to be one scene that whole day and you’d start at seven in the morning and be done by 10:30. If you really know what you’re doing, it can be fun, it can be painless and you can be done before lunch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen on anything else.

Now you’d think that with so many cooks in the kitchen, the making of Ocean’s Eleven would take longer but, as it turns out, the all-star cast of Ocean’s Eleven was super productive. Those guys were clearly pros and managed to split up work and play in an effective way. At the time, Casey Affleck was in his early ‘20s and had yet to seriously break out. He would, of course, later do so, with true breakout performance arriving alongside Brad Pitt in 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James.

To this day, the younger brother of Ben Affleck has not seen a cast knock out scenes before lunch, which is saying something considering Casey has been part of a number of ensembles like Interstellar, Out of the Furnace and The Finest Hours. Though as we’ve heard from George Clooney and co., there was a good amount of pranking on the Ocean films, especially on the first sequel where the cast stayed together in Clooney’s villa in Lake Como.

Clooney recently revealed a fun haunted house prank he played on Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Brad Pitt during filming of Ocean’s Twelve. Pitt was even able to play his own hilarious prank on Clooney in Italy. Overall, it sounds like being part of the cast of the Ocean movies was an absolute blast for Casey Affleck and the rest of the cast.

Affleck’s latest role is in Our Friend with Dakota Johnson and Jason Segel. In the drama based on a true story, Casey Affleck plays Matthew Teague, journalist and husband to Johnson’s Nicole, who gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. Segel plays the couple’s mutual friend who drops everything to support the family. Our Friend is playing in select theaters and is available to rent on VOD.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.