Friday, April 10, 2009
Billy Bob Thornton 'Blow Up' on Q TV
After beginning my blog with high minded ambitions of documenting my pursuit of acting aspiring to high artist endeavours, I find myself truly inspired this morning to write about…Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘blow up’ on “Q”, the CBC radio music show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi.
Yes, sadly, high art has little hold against the visceral thrills pop culture can provide. Or perhaps beneath it’s shallow veneer lurks high art, waiting to be unmasked?
I am sure most Canadians are extremely grateful to Billy Bob Thornton (BBT) this morning for giving our nation yet another 15 second of blazing internet fame. The occasional bone tossed to us by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show just isn’t enough to sate our appetite for landing on the international radar of flash-in-the-pan fame other countries seem so much better at.
It seems according to BBT that Canadians are “reserved.” I know what you’re thinking, ‘ouch’ right! He goes on to clarify, after what seems like an eternity. You see, he was searching for just the right words to subtly insult the audience he was playing to that night, yet somehow aim his comments above their intelligence level. Turns out it would be below that of a two-year old.
He finally lands on just the right words, “…like mashed potatoes with no gravy, if you know what I mean,” he delivers with a grin.
If I know what you mean…let me see…that’s a pretty complex thought. Okay, got it. Mashed potatoes, that yummy side dish composed of liquefied boiled potatoes and cream, milk or butter…mmm…Canadian are just like that!? Only wait…without the gravy! Okay, that means mashed potatoes by themselves are not yummy enough…it should be served with gravy because that’s what makes it really yummy…so in fact what you're saying BBT, and I hope I’m following you here, is that we are actually not yummy and, in fact, are quite bland because we are a nation of liquefied potatoes not covered in gravy. Okay, got it…. Ouch! You really know how to kick a man when he’s down.
I’m sure most of the entire listening audience knew exactly what he meant. Ghomeshi certainly did when he immediately pointed out, “We’ve got plenty of gravy up here. It’s a national dish in fact.”
BBT walked right into that one. And in fact for the first time a smile cracked through the belligerent expression he wore through out the interview, where with great delusion he compares himself to Tom Petty on two occasions! What?! Ohh-kay.
The smile belied to me that in fact the whole interview was an act. Everything from the expression of grave injustice for being associated with his own Oscar winning career as an actor and screenwriter, to the feeble attempt to seem completely dumb-founded by an obvious line of questioning, to the bizarre responses of entering competitions in monster magazines as a child, to cursing on air, to blurting out the name of the first girl he was in love with. The entire thing was an act.
The only genuine moment was the self-realized smile.
Perhaps BBT’s musical endeavours during the last two years, producing five albums, has insulted the actor in him, whose only gig now is interviews like these.
“Bad actor!” he must be saying to himself this morning. “Who invited you to the party? I thought you and I were through. I’m a musician now, Gawd dang it! Leave me alone! Go take your Oscar and get the hell out my tour bus! Go to the Monster’s Ball where you belong! The two of us are like a couple of Bandits waiting for Armageddon in the middle of an Ice Harvest, with nothing but Bad News Bears under the Friday Night Lights outside the School for Scoundrels getting presents from a Bad Santa hoping the Astronaut Farmer will come up with A Simple Plan to stop Pushing Tin with Mr. Woodcock…though what I really want is Love Actually all I’m getting from you is Intolerable Cruelty! So why don’t you just take off to The Alamo and let me be The Man Who Wasn’t There!”
Thanks to imdb.com for the above.
The façade was down. And the smile said, ‘yeah, you’re right. The jig is up. You got me.’
It seems we may have been treated to some of BBT’s best acting in this interview. And all for free gosh darn it! But then again insults have always been free.
By the way if BBT really loves gravy as much as he insinuates, he would know it has everything to do with Thanksgiving. Perhaps, when he is off the air he will have plenty of time to give thanks for all the gravy he has enjoyed in his life.