Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Article excerpt

Byline: NIcki Gostin, Marc Peyser, David Gates

Billy Bob Thornton

In the new remake of "The Bad News Bears," Billy Bob Thornton plays the role of the curmudgeonly Coach Buttermaker. He talked about baseball (and his ex-wife) with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.

Don't you think it's weird that this remake is toned down from the original?

Yeah, our society is really screwed up. There's stuff on TV like "South Park," yet if it's in the theater they tone things down. I don't think it's a moral thing as much as a money thing. Though we didn't tone it down a whole lot.

Yeah, but the famous line is omitted.

That to me was very strange. It's very funny to me how very liberal people are more politically correct than anybody. The way I look at it is, "Come on, guys. It's a joke."

Don't you want to say "Grab a toke and chill out"?

Yes, ma'am.

Was it a nightmare working with all those kids?

Actually, they were great. There were a couple that would punch you in the nuts when you weren't looking. I always tried to keep a baseball glove handy.

There are a lot of weird stories about you. What's the weirdest fake one?

I guess the one about me being a vampire.

Have you done any interviews in the last few years and not been asked about Angelina?

Actually, I have.

Hate to break it to you, but this isn't going to be one of those. Do you still talk?

Oh, yeah. I see her when she comes into town. We're still great friends.

When "Sling Blade" became so big, did you feel like Cinderella?

I don't know about Cinderella. I felt like a spectacle. I'm very embarrassed by attention. That's why I stay home all the time. I stay in my basement. I have a recording studio in there. I watch a lot of TV. History Channel. Sports. Old shows like "Andy Griffith."

Do they have to be Southern-based sitcoms?

No, not at all. I like "The Munsters" too.

What was their address?

Mockingbird Lane. Can't recall the number.

1313.

Well, that makes sense.

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