"Faster" star Billy Bob Thornton returns to writing

Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:03pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A decade has passed since Billy Bob Thornton has written a screenplay, which is what helped him break from the pack of Hollywood wannabes and made him a star. But now, he has picked up his pen again.

"Sling Blade" (1996) earned Thornton an Oscar for his writing, as well as a nomination for his starring role in the film. And it put him on the map of Hollywood stars.

But the low-budget film he wants to make will have to wait for financing, and until then, there is big-budget "Faster," which debuts in theaters on Wednesday. Thornton portrays a cop with a dubious habit on the trail of a vengeance-seeking killer, played by Dwayne Johnson. Thornton talked to Reuters about the movie, his music and, once again, his writing.

Q: I know you've been concentrating on your music and band, and we haven't seen you in a big film in a few years. Why?

A: "I did spend about two years mostly touring with the band, recording a lot of records. The last movie was 'Eagle Eye,' and then we decided to hit the road. Then I did 'Faster.' With the economy, they aren't making as many movies, so when you see a good one you got to grab it, and 'Faster' was that."

Q: What about "Faster" made you want to work in it?

A: "The great thing about every character in (it), pretty much, there's sort of an ambiguity to all of them, and I always like characters like that. I don't know that there are any good guys or bad buys, everybody in it's got a pretty heavy past."

Q: It's billed as a throwback to 1970s action with big thrills and car chases, not much CGI or animated effects.   Continued...