Blake Lively never made it to the snowy mountains of the Sundance Film Festival, but her name was heard up and down Main Street, uttered by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Ryan Reynolds declared that the “Gossip Girl” beauty is going to be “flawless” opposite him in the comic book adaptation, “Green Lantern.”
And Ben Affleck, who cast Blake last summer in “The Town,” had nothing but kind things to say about the 22-year-old actress, even though he’s never caught a single episode of the TV show that made her a star.
Ben’s directorial follow-up to his acclaimed 2007 indie, “Gone Baby Gone,” “Town” follows a bankrobber (played by Ben) who falls head over handgun for the bank’s manager. Blake plays his ex-girlfriend. In an Esquire article last month, Ben opened up about how he ended up casting Lively for the role.
“This girl came in, and no one had said to me beforehand, ’Hey, look for this person,’ ” he said. “And obviously she was really attractive, and so I thought, Oh, here comes some blond girl. She came in, did one reading, and just crushed it. Like, Boston accent—really good. I was sort of stunned. I said, ’Jeez, you know, that was really f*cking good. Who are you?’ ”
Ben may have found the perfect person for the role, but no amount of casting good fortune seemed to be able to calm the guy’s nerves on set. “I think you feel a huge amount of pressure as a director on every movie,” he told us. “Every director I know who I’ve talked to about directing says they feel tremendous anxiety. That’s good, because I feel like I’m not alone, because I have a huge amount of anxiety.”