Casey Affleck: Fatherhood Is 'Transformative'

The Oscar nominee calls having kids "the best thing that ever happened to me"

Photo: Lisa Rose/jpi

Casey Affleck is on a hot streak – scoring a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and starring in the critically acclaimed Gone Baby Gone.

But his most rewarding role to date? Playing dad to his two young sons.

“[Being a parent] sort of changed everything,” the 32-year-old actor (little brother to Ben Affleck), told reporters at Monday’s 80th annual Academy Awards Nominees luncheon. “It’s far and away the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Affleck’s wife, Summer Phoenix, gave birth to son Indiana, 3, in 2004, and to another son, whose name has yet to be announced, in January.

“It’s been transformative,” he said. When Phoenix was first pregnant, he added, “I remember… getting a lot of advice from people that I really trusted and… after I had the kid, thinking why didn’t anyone tell me this is the way it was going to be?”

Explaining parenthood is “a little bit like trying to describe to somebody… what life is like on another planet, in another galaxy,” Affleck said. “Until you’re sort of there in that other galaxy, then you’ll never really know what it’s like.”

After his recent professional success, Affleck said he’s been enjoying some quiet time at home with his little ones.

“I love being around the house and being with the kids everyday,” he said. “Being an actor means that, if you’re successful anyway, you can kind of work for three or four months out of the year and then you’re home a lot of the time.”

The Academy Awards air Feb. 24 on ABC.

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