Thursday, August 10, 2006

Billy the Kidder

Last night, I discovered that I have an unlikely new pop-cultural hero: Billy Bob Thornton.

Until then, everything I had read about the five-times-divorced actor's personal life made him sound creepy. In contrast, his comments to Andrew Goldman in the latest issue of Elle reveal him to be surprisingly thoughtful and even downright charming. It's clear, however, that I'm not his type — which, all things considered, is no doubt for the best. A few highlights from Goldman's interview:

ELLE: Is there any man you've been around who puts your own power with women to shame?

BILLY BOB THORNTON: My buddy Jim Varney, God rest his soul, who played Ernest. He'd say things that would get most of us slapped, but women thought he was so adorable and funny, they didn't care.

ELLE: ... What thing could you find in a woman's home that would convince you that you weren't compatible?

BBT: A copy of "Star Wars."

ELLE: What does that really say about somebody?

BBT: That they contribute to the ruination of motion pictures by supporting things that rely on toys and gimmicks. You know, it's like finding a drawer full of vibrators.

ELLE: ... Ever have any unlikely crushes?

BBT: Ruth Buzzi.

ELLE: ... If for the night you could inhabit the body of any man, living or dead, to pick up women, who would it be?

BBT: Probably one of those cats in the Revolution, like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson.

ELLE: Ben Franklin had a reputation as an amazing swordsman.

BBT: Exactly. There you go.

ELLE: But so do you. Have you ever tried to compute your numbers? Are you in Wilt Chamberlain territory?

BBT: I'm not up there with Wilt. But I've never tried to do it. It makes it just seem like a sport, and I'm not like that, and these days I try not to be that reflective. Sometimes it's depressing, thinking about those times in your life when bad things happened.

ELLE: Are there any physical peculiarities you can't tolerate in a woman?

BBT: Really long toes, where they look like claws, you know what I mean? It looks like they have hands instead of feet.

ELLE: My God! I never knew hand-footed women existed.

BBT: Oh, they're out there.