October 30, 2007 Bonus Bonus Blog
Henry Beck got us an interview with Tommy Lee Jones. I asked Henry to share with me a couple quotes from Al Gore's old roommate:
"Well I don’t have anything to say about Westerns because I don’t know what they are. I assume it’s kind of a generic terms to indicate a movie that’s got big hats and horses and maybe some dust in it."
"The thing I appreciated most about Joel and Ethan (Coen) is their respect for Cormac’s book and how closely they adhered to it and the fact that they had the wisdom to not presume to improve it."
Too funny. One of the reasons Tommy Lee is probably so glowing about the Coens sticking close to Cormac's book, is that Jones himself owns the rights to "Blood Meridian", another Cormac book, which, I've heard, Tommy Lee wants to film, playing "The Judge." As for the Westerns response, I told Henry coming from anyone else I would assume the guy who said it is an ass. Well, is he?
Beck On Tommy Lee
"Yes and no. He's interesting, intimidating, bored with this side of the process, disinclined to answer questions or overtalk things. But when he gets a little warmed up he'll elaborate. He's loquacious in bursts, but I don't know that anyone would accuse him of being generous to unknown voices on telephones, even if they are from True West.
"I think he's a great actor, extremely smart, and tough. Under some circumstances though I think he would have been 'touchy as an old cook' but with a few shots in him I think he would have been longer winded. I think he has to be courted. He doesn't suffer fools, and I think maybe he deals with fools all the time. I really admire his work, probably as much as anyone working. Don't know if you saw The Valley Of Elah, but he's amazing. If I were an actor, he's the guy I'd want to work with because he's grounded the way actors used to be, especially the ones who saw service in WW2. Another guy who owned his space like that was Walter Matthau Like Matthau, nobody and no movie can knock him from his spot. It looks like Will Smith drew light in Men In Black, but TLJ owned it. The only other actor with a gravity point as low as Jones in that was Rip Torn. In The Fugitive he's Tex Avery's Droopy Dog with a Texas drawl. I don't think Jones was ever stunned or staggered, even as far back as The Executioner's Song. Jones has been in some bad pictures, and he's had some bad parts (Two Face in one of those Batman shitheaps), but I don't think he's ever made a bad movie worse, and he's made a lot of movies better. I don't recall he was ever a romantic lead but if someone could write the right script it would be fascinating.
"We also talked about the use of metaphors and Hopalong Cassidy."
Look for Henry's interview with Tommy Lee Jones in an upcoming issue of True West.
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