8 items from 2014
Billy Bob Thornton has strung together a career’s worth of memorable performances in films including Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, Primary Colors, Bad Santa, Monster’s Ball, Love Actually, Friday Night Lights, and the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Has he ever played as riveting a character as his small screen turn as Lorne Malvo, the manipulative, malevolent murderous catalyst for the series transfer of the Coen Brothers film classic Fargo? Thornton is smack in the center of an Emmy category stacked with fellow movie stars lured by the superior writing and character development largely missing from features nowadays. Here, he tells Deadline why the small screen was the perfect forum for his resurgence, and what happens when an actor interprets a mortal character as something else.
Deadline: Lorne Malvo facilitated all the good and bad that happens in Fargo‘s snowy Minnesota town. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Based on best-selling American author Cormac McCarthy’s third novel of the same name, Child Of God explores typical McCarthian themes of nihilism, violence and masculinity. The story follows Lester Ballard, an outsider in ’60s Tennessee who ends up going a bit Colonel Kurtz and discovering the inner horror of Man when he runs amok in the countryside, killing people and defiling corpses left, right and centre.
Of course, this is par the course for McCarthy. His novels have featured infanticide, cannibalism, torture and sexual deviancy. No wonder filmmakers are so keen to adapt his work – we’ve already had The Road, No Country For Old Men and All The Pretty Horses, while his screenplay The Counselor was adapted by »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
“He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activites in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life »
- Sasha Stone
Cormac McCarthy adaptations are tricky.
The Coen brothers’ take on No Country for Old Men may have picked up four Oscars, including Best Picture, but that hasn’t exactly been the norm when it comes to translating the venerable author’s stark worldview onto the big screen.
Billy Bob Thornton’s $57 million All the Pretty Horses was panned in 2000; it currently boasts a dismal 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and only made $15 million domestically. John Hillcoat’s take on The Road fared better critically (75 percent), but it flopped at the box office too — netting a mere $8.1 million on a reported $25 million production budget. »
- Lindsey Bahr
Billy Bob Thornton has played some devilish characters, but never one as frightening and fascinating as Fargo’s Lorne Malvo. Malvo is a mysterious grim reaper of sorts who lives by a strict code of malevolence — one that has a way of rubbing off on the innocent souls around him. In the premiere of FX’s new series, which airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. Et, a chance encounter with pathetic pushover Lester Nygaard (Sherlock’s Martin Freeman) leads to some very bad things in the small town of Bemidji, Minn.
The two actors — whom you may remember co-starred in Love Actually, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Billy Bob Thornton couldn't have dreamed of a better reception for his feature length directorial debut, "Sling Blade." The critically acclaimed film marked the arrival of a writer/director with a unique voice, and his feature, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "All The Pretty Horses" nearly destroyed him. Battling with Miramax/the Weinsteins, Thornton saw his version of the movie cut to ribbons. "They saw the cast, the director, Billy Bob Thornton, and the fact that we spent $50 million, and they never released our movie—though the cut still exists," Matt Damon said a couple years back. "Billy had a heart problem at that time, and it was because his heart fucking broke from fighting for that film. It really fucked him up. It still bothers me to this day." And it would seem Thornton is done banging his head against the wall in Hollywood trying to make his more literary leaning films. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
One of the pleasures of the final two seasons of "Breaking Bad" was watching the evolution of Todd, the character played by Jesse Plemons. His All-American Opie Cunningham exterior hid a truly dark heart, and Plemons played the role beautifully. He's been working for fourteen years, though. "Breaking Bad" may have seemed like a breakthrough moment for Plemons, but it's one that he's been building to for a while. He played young Matt Damon in "All The Pretty Horses" back in 2000, a damn fine piece of casting, and then he ended doing small roles on a lot of TV shows »
- Drew McWeeny
After more than a year of rumors and speculation, a fairly firm casting report has arrived for Star Wars: Episode VII, with Jesse Plemons said to be closing in on a lead role. The actor has not been hired at this time, but he does have a second audition with director J.J. Abrams.
The actor had a break out role-playing the nefarious Todd on the finale season of Breaking Bad, and is known for his work on Friday Night Lights. He also played an important role in The Master. Multiple inside sources with knowledge of the top-secret casting have confirmed that he is close to landing a deal.
Neither LucasFilm nor Disney would comment at this time.
Jesse Plemons is scheduled to meet with J.J. Abrams next week to discuss the project. The actor previously taped an audition that was well received, and he is being flown from Austin, Texas to Los Angeles, »
8 items from 2014
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