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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”)

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