Billy Bob Thornton plays a lawyer named Billy on the Amazon Studios legal drama “Goliath,” and to hear Thornton tell it, the similarities between the actor and the character run much deeper than the shared name.
They both have their quirks, they both feel comfortable living in hotels and they both hold a special contempt for people who are “yappers.” But beyond those cursory details, Thornton says there’s an underlying melancholy in the character that he related to on a deeper level.
“He’s never completely satisfied with anything,” Thornton says, laughing. “That’s why the character was interesting to me, because it didn’t rely on the story for the character to be interesting.”
The 61-year-old actor won a Golden Globe for his turn on “Goliath,” which Amazon recently renewed for a second season. In a video interview at The Times, Thornton said to expect a more prevalent “Chinatown” vibe in the new episodes, though he wasn’t completely sure which characters would be returning. (Likely: Nina Arianda’s feisty attorney Patty and Tania Raymonde’s Brittany Gold, probably still looking for redemption.)
Elsewhere in the interview, Thornton confided that he does most of his TV binge-watching with his 12-year-old daughter (he’s very much looking forward to the new season of “My Little Pony”) and that if he could go back and star on a classic TV show, he’d play Meathead opposite Archie Bunker on “All in the Family.”
“Knowing that Archie just loathes him living there,” Thornton says, talking about the appeal, adding that he really doesn’t like to stay at other people’s houses because he’s always aware of somebody else’s turf.
“I remember I was staying at Johnny Cash’s house one time,” Thornton says. “He said, ‘You oughta just stay for a week’ … and I got a rash thinking about it. I thought, ‘I’m gonna be in the refrigerator at 2 in the morning and then Johnny Cash comes in the room?’ That’s nerve-racking.”
You can watch the full interview here: