The actor, who got rave reviews for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” was the clear front-runner in this category, which included “Fences” actor-director Denzel Washington. This marks his first win, after one previous nomination.
In the film, which received five nominations in total, Affleck plays a man trying to help his nephew navigate a recent tragedy. In a twist, Matt Damon was originally slated for the role, but couldn’t take it due to scheduling conflicts. Damon, a producer on the film, said in an earlier red carpet interview that Affleck (the younger brother of his longtime friend and collaborator, Ben Affleck) was the only replacement he considered.
“I suspect you won’t be passing on any movies in the future, when I might be nearby,” Affleck told Damon, thanking him for his “support” and “friendship.”