By Daniel Fienberg
Given that he's spent most of his career playing lost souls and quirky sidekicks, Casey Affleck knows that he was an unusual choice to play a tough-guy private investigator.
In "Gone, Baby, Gone," Affleck plays Patrick Kenzie. Along with the brassy and beautiful Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), Kenzie is the focus of a series of Boston-based mysteries from author Dennis Lehane. On the page, Kenzie is a fast-talking alpha male, the product of a rough and tumble streets of Dorchester.
"He is supposed to be a more traditional heroic lead and that's something that I haven't really played before," Affleck reflects. "I've always found the eccentricities and the flaws in the characters that I've played and that's just been interesting to me for some reason, but this was really good and it was a good challenge for me and something I wanted to do, to play something that was not exploring those aspects of the part and kind of embracing the typical male-lead heroism of it. You know, just be the guy who holds the gun and catches the bad guy was something I hadn't done."
I'll say it again: Kenzie was not a typical alpha male hero. He was rather fatalistic and tended to get his clock cleaned. His lack of fighting prowess and seeming refusal to train made him unique among fictional private eyes.