Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oscar Winner Billy Bob Thornton Impressed by 'Insane' Roughrider Fans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oscar Winner Billy Bob Thornton Impressed by 'Insane' Roughrider Fans

Article excerpt

Thornton says Roughrider fans 'insane'

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PASADENA, Calif. - Billy Bob Thornton has seen some pretty wild and crazy things in his day, but wasn't prepared for what he saw last November in Calgary.

The Oscar winner, in Alberta shooting the upcoming series based on the hit Coen brothers' movie "Fargo," was attending a CFL playoff game.

"I gotta tell you something," Thornton said Monday night at a Fox Network evening event during the Television Critics Association press tour. "Those Roughrider fans are insane."

He was expecting Canadian football fans "to be a little bit more reserved." Instead, he was surrounded by folks "with no clothes on painted green and they had watermelons on their heads. They're tailgating in sub-zero temperatures with no clothes on!"

The colder-than-usual winter has proven challenging for Arkansas native Thornton and other U.S.-born "Fargo" cast members. The 58-year-old actor stars along with Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman ("The Hobbit"), Bob Odenkirk and Kate Walsh in the 10-episode, limited run drama, which is currently in production in Calgary.

It is scheduled to premiere in the U.S. on April 15 on FX and the same day in Canada on the new specialty network FXX.

"One night, it went down to 40 below and they wouldn't allow us to work," he says. "You figure if a Canadian says it's too dangerous to go out there, it probably is too dangerous to go out."

Contrary to the impression he left after a 2009 CBC radio interview where he sparred with host Jian Ghomeshi, Thornton could not have been more charming, straightforward or accommodating than he was at press tour.

His career has taken him "all over Canada," he says.

"I love Saskatoon, and I think Calgary seems more like the kind of people I grew up around more than any other place in Canada. I feel real comfortable there."

One of three movies he has coming out this year, "Cut Bank" (co-starring Liam Hemsworth and John Malkovich), was shot in Edmonton. The other movies are "The Judge," with Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall, and "London Fields."

Thornton says he's shot six movies with Duvall and considers him one of his mentors. …

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