Billy Bob Thornton’s trip north of the border took another turn for the worse Thursday night, and then ended abruptly on Friday (April 10).
First he battled with a Canadian radio host who introduced Thornton – much to his dismay – as a movie star while he was promoting his music career. Then, at a concert Thursday night, where Thornton’s band the Boxmasters opened for Willie Nelson, he attempted to explain the bizarre interview but ended up fighting with the audience too. The next day, Nelson’s official Web site said the Boxmasters had dropped off the tour.
“It seems as if when I say something it’s in the news,” Thornton told the crowd at Massey Hall, according to the Toronto Star. The audience immediately began booing, to which Thornton replied, “Boo all you want, but I want to say something – we’re really happy to be here, but I need to say something. I talked to this a–hole yesterday.”
Thornton went on to explain that the radio show’s producers had promised not to make any references to his acting career. CBC Radio’s Jian Ghomeshi began the interview by introducing Thornton as an “Oscar-winning screenwriter, actor and director.” Thornton then became alternately belligerent and nonsensical, drawing comparisons with Joaquin Phoenix’s epic unraveling on “Late Show with David Letterman” in February. Over the nearly 15-minute interview, Thornton claimed not to understand the simplest of questions and professed to never having met Willie Nelson.
“I don’t really like sensationalism,” he told the crowd at Massey Hall. “If you look someone in the eyes and promise them something, and you don’t do it, you don’t get the interview. That’s the way it goes.”
Thornton’s explanation did not satisfy the audience, and they began jeering, “Here comes the gravy,” a reference to Thornton’s description of Canadian audiences during the CBC interview as “mashed potatoes with no gravy.”
Earlier in the evening, Thornton was asked by a reporter to explain the mashed potatoes comment. “I was talking about the guy who was interviewing me,” he said