Casey Affleck will have one of the most coveted gigs this weekend when he hosts “Saturday Night Live,” but the actor is no stranger to a live stage. On Thursday, Affleck talked with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” about starting his career in the kindergarten spotlight.
However, unlike most young actors, his first performance was in front of Rosa Parks.
The 41-year-old filmmaker reminisced about his acting days at a Massachusetts school named after the civil rights activist. And when Parks visited the children there, they put on a play for her.
“I was a lion,” he said. “What I had to do is run up to the front of the stage and roar.”
Affleck’s big moment seemed simple enough, but it soon went awry.
“My mane fell off,” he recalled. “It was my very first artistic crisis.”
Nevertheless, the young actor finished his scene — mane and all. After the show, Parks patted Affleck on the head and smiled, unknowingly setting the tone for the rest of his life.
“Since then my whole career has been trying to recapture that feeling of approval,” he joked. “It’s not just about ‘SNL.’ It’s about working through childhood trauma.”
Hollywood should be thankful for the early mishap. After his time in the grade school spotlight, Affleck went on to star in critically acclaimed films, including a supporting role in the Oscar-winning film “Good Will Hunting,” written by his brother Ben and friend Matt Damon.
Now his latest endeavor, "Manchester by the Sea," has earned him the best actor Critics' Choice Award, as well as a Golden Globe nomination in the same category.
To watch Affleck head back to his live theater roots, catch “Saturday Night Live” at 11:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on NBC.