Billy Bob Thornton on Angelina: ‘I defend her to the death, she’s done so much!’


Did you know that Billy Bob Thornton is a life-long Democrat? I didn’t know that. I knew he liked Bill Clinton a lot (they’re both from Arkansas) but I figured he had probably voted for some good ol’ boy Republicans throughout his life as well. But not so much. Billy Bob is promoting Bad Santa 2 (which opened with $9 million, which isn’t great) and he chatted with The Daily Beast about politics, the election and how we should just tip our hats to people like Angelina Jolie. Some highlights:

Commenting on politics: “I don’t comment on politics, because it doesn’t matter what you say, there will be a way for someone to spin it into something negative. And these days it means your career. You can say one wrong thing that may not even be wrong, and that’s just the way it’s perceived. I used to give very open interviews. These days, you can’t. I want to, because it cheats the journalist, it cheats me, and it cheats the audience. People, I think, more than ever, want to see failure, and that’s really sad to me. I don’t think everybody does. But there’s a huge faction of our country that likes to see people fail. They love to see bad things happen to people.”

Bad Santa isn’t shocking: “People would talk about Bad Santa being so shocking, but Bad Santa is nothing compared to this stuff on the internet—or the real world,” he said. “The internet and comedy networks on cable have some of the nastiest stuff you’ll ever run into. And people talk about each other on the internet like dogs. But those same people who do that on the internet, if a celebrity says something like that they’re vilified. And that never made sense to me.”

His general thoughts following the election: “It has definitely been a circus. I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime—from the beginning, when there were still like 17 Republicans running for the nomination. When I was born Eisenhower was the President, so I’ve seen a few, and I’ve played a president. And I’ve gotta tell you, it’s been really wild. What’s surprising to me is that in this day and time the country’s still this divided—and almost down the middle. I’m originally from Arkansas, and then Texas, but I’ve been in California for 36 years. We are seriously divided. It’s a weird time. I feel like we could create a self-fulfilling prophecy if we get too upset right now. Violence can be created by us, too. And if people want it, we could have a really bad time out there right now.”

He’s a liberal person: “I grew up Democratic. I’ve always voted Democratic. And I’m a liberal person. That’s just who I am naturally. [As a parent] you wonder about your kid’s future and all that. But to tell you the truth, I don’t talk about politics publicly because I think, I’m in the entertainment business—who cares what I have to say? I think they only care in a curiosity sense. I think they want you to comment on politics, because then they can hand your ass to you. Hollywood always gets in on elections. You always see stars going to rallies and fundraisers. But I think Hollywood could help more by offering acting lessons to candidates.”

On Angelina Jolie: “I have close friends who have done so much for the world. I mean, touring the world, helping kids, setting up foundations, and yet people in the media still talk about them and put them down for it. ‘Oh, here he goes again,’ or ‘Here she goes again.’ And I defend her to the death. She’s done so much! Yet people still slam her left and right and say, ‘Here she goes again,’ or whatever.” Instead of hating on the people trying to do good in the world, Thornton suggested, why don’t we celebrate? “I just think it’s ridiculous. If somebody’s going to try and do something with their lives, tip your hat to them.”

[From The Daily Beast]

I do think he’s being cautious about what he says politically, because just pointing out that the country’s really divided doesn’t really generate headlines. If you want to generate headlines, you’ve got to go full-on Michael Shannon about it. Although this could be a political statement too: “But there’s a huge faction of our country that likes to see people fail. They love to see bad things happen to people.” I know he means that as a statement of celebrity-gossip-media culture, but it relates to politics too. I kept thinking that whenever Trump talked about throwing Hillary Clinton in jail: there are millions of people in this country who believe that someone should be “punished” for having different ideas or for being different.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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20 Responses to “Billy Bob Thornton on Angelina: ‘I defend her to the death, she’s done so much!’”

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  1. minx says:

    That’s really nice to hear that he defends her.

  2. BonnieJean says:

    “I feel like we could create a self-fulfilling prophecy if we get too upset right now.”

    He is a very smart guy.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      And we *are* that upset right now and it fed into the election results. And violence is already happening, given the spike in hate crimes following the election.

      Otherwise, good interview.

  3. Christine says:

    Anybody watch him in the Netflix series Goliath? It was really good. He was great in in it too!

    • Insomniac says:

      No, I should look into that. He was amazing in Fargo.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I saw it on Amazon. It wasn’t terribly original, as far as the story goes, but he was so good. There’s nobody who can do the down-on-his-luck guy as well as BBT. The acting was almost uniformly excellent. But William Hurt’s character was just bizarre.

  4. eggyweggs says:

    I like BBT, I think he’s intelligent and a good-looking dude. I just wish we could find him a different hairstyle. The bangs-on-a-grown man thing…

    • YepIsaidit says:

      I think It’s like his version of a comb over.

    • Sage says:

      His hair situation has been awful for years. He should embrace his baldness, he doesn’t look too bad.

      • JFresh says:

        I’d bet a big chunk that it’s a toupee. Look closely at it….

        Anyway does he really deserve so much credit for supporting Angelina? It’s not exactly a hot controversy. Pretty hard to argue with how noble her life and life work has become.

  5. YepIsaidit says:

    I’m glad to see at least one man in her life defends her. with all of his insecurities and fears it turns out BbT is the real man!!!

  6. Neo says:

    Wow. He’s pretty insightful.

  7. molly says:

    It’s nice he is defending her. Her father & husband never stand up for Angelina. Right now, she is being maligned by the tabloid media. Jon voight instead is spending his time defending his friend Trump,… but never his own daughter? If that was my child i would go after everyone of those media outlets making up malicious gossip. As for brad? Not one word in the 12yrs of the relentless hate for angie, homewrecker this? & every “Evil Angie” story. Shows BBT is the real man with a backbone.

    • YepIsaidit says:

      So true, Molly. I’ve always suspected that his Pr team had a hand in how the media played that narrative- It all benefits brand Pitt. It still does. He is a coward and now all the drama is mostly about his children and he doesn’t defend them either. Very creepy.

  8. Sage says:

    He is still talking about her..

  9. Alice says:

    Wonderful , its great that he speaks nicely about Angelina , she deserves it

  10. Miss Jackson says:

    IMO, Most of the vile Blogs/Comments written about Angelina are from other Women but her IDGAF attitude about how folks,Celebrities & Non who don’t know her Personally feels about her makes me Respect her more