PLEDGE NOW
Billy Bob Thornton

Angelina Jolie called him “a hillbilly Orson Welles.” Actor Billy Bob Thornton joins us with his new memoir.

Actor Billy Bob Thornton of "Manure" poses for a portrait at the Gibson Guitar Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. (AP)

Actor Billy Bob Thornton of "Manure" poses for a portrait at the Gibson Guitar Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. (AP)

The first that Angelina Jolie heard of Billy Bob Thornton was from friends in Hollywood that there was this guy out of Arkansas who was like, she says, “the hillbilly Orson Welles.” She learned a lot more about Billy Bob. So have we all.

Actor, screenwriter, director, Oscar-winner, iconoclast, with the soul-patch whisker on his chin and a barrel full of Arkansas attitude. He’s played and told a lot of stories. In Sling Blade. Monster’s Ball. Many more. Now he’s telling his own. The psychic mom. The fear of French furniture.

This hour, On Point: The Billy Bob Tapes. We sit down with Billy Bob Thornton.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Billy Bob Thornton, actor and author of the new book The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts.

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News “Billy Bob Thornton has played an outlaw, Davy Crockett, even the president of the United States in film, but in reality, this stone-faced actor says he suffers from deep insecurities, which he says cost him his marriage to Angelina Jolie.”

San Francisco Chronicle “Billy Bob Thornton has a crippling fear of public places and feels as though he is subjected to a “witch hunt” every time he leaves home. The actor suffers from a mild form of agoraphobia, which leaves him feeling vulnerable when he steps outside, and his condition has become increasingly worse over the years.”

The New York Times “Like many Southerners, Mr. Thornton, who grew up in Arkansas, is a gifted storyteller, with an eye for the telling detail and a moving way of blending comedy with tragedy. One story he tells about the burn-scarred transvestite he met while living at a shady motel during his early days in California is a heartbreaking gem.”

Excerpt: The Billy Bob Tapes

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Playlist

“Blue Waltz” — Daniel Lanois (from “Sling Blade”)

“Opening Title” from “Monster’s Ball,” composed by Asche & Spencer

“I Made a Lover’s Prayer” — Gillian Welch (from “The Astronaut Farmer”)

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 25, 2016
This April 29, 2014, file photo, shows an Exxon sign at a Exxon gas station in Carnegie, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

How will the oil giants do business in the climate change future? Shareholders at Exxon, Chevron and more want to hear their plans. So do we.

May 25, 2016
Police gather in a cordoned off area where a possible murder suspect fired shots at officers surrounding a South Side home where he is barricaded Thursday, May 12, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Predictive policing. With violence on the rise, Chicago has turned to big data to predict gun and gang violence.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 24, 2016
Activist and author Gloria Steinem. (Carly Romeo / Courtesy Gloria Steinem)

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem explores how violence against women drives global instability in her new show, “Woman.” She’s with us.

 
May 24, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Vietnamese Communist party secretary general Nguyen Phu Trong at the Central Office of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama’s in Vietnam and Japan. The G7, Hiroshima and his pivot to Asia are all on the table. We look at the big picture. Plus, President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment
 
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment
 
Caller: Trump is a ‘Yankee moron,’ but I support him
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“I’m a working man. I’ve worked 13, 14 hours every day. I got two jobs. I got three kids. I got a wife. You know, I’m not a misogynist.”

More »
Comment