George Clooney is back in the director's chair for "The Tender Bar," the film version of the best-selling memoir of the same name.
He chose Ben Affleck to head the cast, and he picked Daniel Ranieri, an unknown young actor, to play a pivotal role.
In "The Tender Bar," Affleck bonds with his nephew when his sister moves back into the family home.
"I think it's well-timed. You know, there's a sort of collective couple of very difficult years. How ever this pandemic has affected you, it's affected us all, and to varying degrees. But nonetheless, it's like we feel that. And there's something life-affirming and positive about the connections we have to one another, the importance of human kindness and love, particularly in family, particularly with children in that hand. That's, I think, comfortable and nice," said Affleck.
Says Ranieri: "Ben taught me a lot of things, I gotta say. One of the most important things was he taught me how to understand the character of J.R. On the script, you have to understand it and you have to understand the character's emotions. And if you don't understand those emotions, you won't play the character that well."
"Daniel has a beautiful simplicity and honesty to his performance that it seems effortless and is why I think his performance is so great," said Affleck.
Tye Sheridan takes over the role of J.R. as a young man. He's the pride of his family, getting an Ivy League education to pursue his dreams.
Affleck told his co-star, "And also because you're a beautiful guy that people identify with and like. And they can feel your heart in the movie and they like it."
"The Tender Bar" is in select theaters and on Prime Video beginning Jan. 7.