WTF Happened to Billy Bob Thornton?

Last Updated on October 10, 2022

Billy Bob Thornton is an unlikely but enduring movie star. He blasted onto the scene as a character actor in movies like One False Move and Tombstone before his 1996 passion project, Sling Blade, earned him a best screenplay Academy Award while also netting him a Best Actor nomination. Made for just over $1 million, it was a solid box office hit, grossing 30 times its budget, and from there, Thornton’s career went into high gear. While his directorial career went on the back-burner after Harvey Weinstein cut his Cormac McCarthy adaptation, All the Pretty Horses, to shreds, his acting career was white-hot, earning a best-supporting actor nomination for Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan and leading movies such as Monster’s Ball, Friday Night Lights, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and netting high profile supporting roles in Armageddon, Primary Colors, Bandits, Love Actually and so many more.

His career really gained momentum when he signed on to play the lead in perhaps his most iconic film, Bad Santa, which became an R-rated Christmas classic. At the same time, the public became fascinated by Thornton’s eccentricities, including the fact that he and his then-wife Angelina Jolie wore pendants of each other’s blood and his well-known aversion to antique furniture. There’s also his viral CBC interview in which he sparred with the now-cancelled Jian Ghomeshi, but through it all Thornton has stayed firmly on the Hollywood A-list, with him set to lead Taylor Sheridan’s series, Land Man. We dig into his career in this episode of WTF Happened to this Celebrity, which is written (with Brad Hamerly), narrated and produced by Taylor James Johnson, and edited by Adam Walton.

What’s your favourite Billy Bob Thornton movie? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.