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Astronaut Farmer, The (2007)
For thematic material, peril and language
Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Blake Nelson, J.K. Simmons
Mark Polish, Michael Polish
Astronaut Farmer, The (2007)
Dismissed from NASA's space program, former astronaut-in-training Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) pursues his lifelong dream by building his own rocket in the Polish Brothers' family film "The Astronaut Farmer." On the eve of his launch, he must battle foreclosure on his ranch, a small-town community of disbelievers, the FAA, and FBI agents who want to shut him down in the name of Homeland Security - but remains determined to reach his goal and instill in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams, no matter the odds.
Astronaut Farmer, The (2007) | Review
Of Bands, Bars and Billy Bob (Furches)
MF: Steve Morse with the Dixie Dregs and I did a lot of shows together, and Steve used to call me Twiggs, Jr.
BBT: Is that right? I’ll be darned.
MF: Twiggs managed The Allman Brothers and Dregs.
BBT: Sure, I remember Twiggs when he was with them; sure.
MF: It is an honor to get to talk to you.
BBT: Well thanks, man.
MF: I’ve seen eight out of your last ten movies, twenty-oe of them in total.
MF: I have been impressed with a lot of things about the characters you have played. You play a lot of different types of characters; which of them is most like the real Billy Bob Thornton?
BBT: Well, the one in Astronaut Farmer is not too far off. I was raised down there with that kind of lifestyle—family and everything was pretty close to it, plus I was a dreamer growing up. I still am, really.
MF: I’ve got some questions about the dreamer and stuff coming up a little later on.
BBT: Also kind of bucking the system. I’ve always kind of had a little trouble with the rules and regulations of the suits you know? (laughing)
BBT: So I related to that part of [Astronaut Farmer]. This might sound funny, but I played a character in A Simple Plan and that was a pretty heavy movie. It involved taking some money and the moral question of what to do about something like that. I played this character who at the end of the day didn’t want to live in a world where people close to him were capable of what they did. I always related to that character quite a bit.
MF: It was a good movie and a good role. What is it about Billy Bob Thornton that causes what I call everyday, regular, ordinary, every day folk to like you? You’re probably one of the most well-liked actors among the populace. Not the Hollywood Elite, not the white-collar types, but regular folk. What is it about you that causes that type of person to be a fan of yours?
BBT: Well, I guess maybe part of it is I have never really been into being a celebrity much. I will go out, [but that] is pretty rare. I stay home most of the time; especially with a 2½-year-old daughter, I stay home a whole lot. But, I guess a lot of it is I will stand and sign autographs all day long and talk with people. I’m not a whole lot different than I was when I was eighteen years old. I guess maybe another part of it is—as opposed to trying to become somebody else, lose my accent or try to do more maybe highbrow roles that I wouldn’t be suited for as a vanity thing—I’ve tried to stick with what I know; and when I make a Southern movie or play a Southern character I try to bring some kind of dignity to the character. You know how the South is portrayed?
MF: Yeah. If you can’t tell by my accent. (laughter from both of us)
BBT: The thing is that most movies (up until recent years) about the South were made by people who weren’t from there. So whenever a movie was made about the South it was always a racist kind of thing, or a Mississippi Burning or things like that. After a while you think these are the only kind of movies they make about this place—well, that must be it. I’ve tried to bring some kind of realism and dignity to that kind of thing.
Copyright © 2007 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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