Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hold the Billy Bob and Pass the Gravy

by SHELL SHERREE

Oh, I do wish Miss Mild Manners wasn't still on Easter holidays.

If Billy Bob Thornton's recent behaviour during a Canadian radio interview is anything to go by, I understand why the position of Wife Number Six is still vacant. {I'm sure his aversion to silver flatware, French antiques and his fear of harpsichords have nothing to do with it. And yet he has no issues with that other plucked string instrument, the banjo. There's a warning sign if ever I saw one.}

In the interests of research {snort}, I watched the video of the whole thing. All thirteen minutes and forty seconds of it. Around ten minutes and forty seconds of it consisted of awkward silence, heavy sighs, pursed lips and more eyebrow gesticulation than a Marx Brothers movie, minus the fun. But enough about me.

Billy Bob was there with the other members of his band, The Boxmasters, to promote their latest album and their tour with Willy Nelson and Ray Price. It turns out they were there on the proviso that Billy Bob's movie career would not be talked about. Yes, modest Billy Bob did not want to detract any attention from his fellow band members {whose names don't appear on their website, as far as I could see}. I mean to say, they even named the album Modbilly. Could they have made it any more obvious how low-key he wanted to be?

Unfortunately, radio show host Jian Ghomeshi decided a teensy-weensy mention for 'contextual' purposes would be harmless. After briefly name dropping so his listeners could experience spontaneous penny-dropping, he asked a straight forward question about how long The Boxmasters had been together. I started to wonder if I'd misheard and he had instead asked Billy Bob why he decided to give up directing after he was forced to cut an hour from his adaptation of All the Pretty Horses, because I'd swear Billy Bob snorted and pawed the ground under the table.

Whenever Ghomeshi tried to include Billy Bob in the conversation, he was rewarded with responses that varied from the succinct {"I don't know"} to the off-topically effluent {you don't want to know}. Eventually, an uneasy truce was openly agreed to, after which Billy Bob further unendeared himself to the listening public by saying Canadians were like mashed potatoes without gravy. After all, he said, The Boxmasters "tend to play places where people throw things" - something many Canadian ticket holders were looking forward to doing for the first time in their lives shortly thereafter.

Not surprisingly, The Boxmasters cancelled their remaining shows due to the flu.

Though the Billy Bob camp has pretty much responded to the incident by saying he had no requirement to answer questions since the basic protocol he'd requested had been ignored, I have to wonder why someone whose own official website is called Billybobapalooza and shows a photo of his star on Hollywood Boulevard {number 6801 if you want to go and stamp your hoof on it} would seriously take such offense at a passing mention of his non-musical credentials.

But wait, I'm forgetting - he didn't want to take any attention away from his fellow band members, who looked like they were desperately hoping The Island in Lost would move again and create a keyhole through which they could vanish, go back ten minutes in time and bonk Billy Bob on the head with one of the cymbals from his own drumkit, the one he couldn't be bothered bringing because it was 6 o'clock in the morning and he didn't want to attract any attention to himself.

According to my trusty Wikipedia, Billy Bob said following his movie Bad Santa's success that audiences "like to watch [him] play that kind of guy, and they [casting directors] call [him] up when they need an as5hole."

Billy Bob, I think your phone is ringing.

9 comments:

  1. Poor band members. But I guess it's a living. Did he really compare Canadians to mashed potatoes without gravy?

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  2. Yes, I guess there's that in it, Margaret - they would have known what they were getting involved with... those creative geniuses can be a handful. {A handful of gravy?}

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  3. Is Billy Bob the fellow who was Pammy's husband?

    You are an hilarious, witty writer Shell. I can see why you and Lynn relate so well ...

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  4. {Gee, thanks again, Mme ... you're making me blush.}

    It's one of the other Billies - Billy Connolly - who is Pammy's husband. Mind you, he has been rather naughty at times, too. Perhaps there's something about the name Billy. Though Billy Crystal - there's a nice polite young boy!

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  5. I haven't heard the interview but your review of it is a hoot!

    There are plenty of creative geniuses out there (including in Hollywood) who know how to be kind to others. The world doesn't need to dance on eggshells around a$$holes.

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  6. I hadn't heard this interview, Shell, so thank you for your courage in sitting through it and reporting back.

    I used to really like his work in Sling Blade and A Simple Plan but he's since gotten more cuckoo by the day. I hope the band members are well paid.

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  7. Petrea, beautifully said! A little grace and gratitude goes a long way.

    Elyse, it was tough going, but I was happy to take one for the team ;)

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  8. I couldn't bring myself to listen so thank you for doing so and reporting back to us!
    I love the last line especially. He is truly an a**hole, which is probably what attracted A Jolie to him!

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  9. from cali, I heard he's taking up golf because he enjoys the company of other gr-a$$ holes.

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