if this really goes sideways

I am not usually one to give much attention to celebrities or any of the inconsequential things that seem to surround them. But today I am taking exception to one.
Earlier today I had the displeasure of listening to one of the worst interviews I have ever heard. It wasn’t because the interviewer was bad – it was the interviewee. This time it was on CBC’s “Q” hosted by Jian Ghomeshi of Moxy Fruvous – a show I had known about but, oddly enough, never checked out until yesterday – before I knew of any of the bizzarro behavior that was about to happen when the Billy Bob Thornton band “The Boxmasters” came on this morning.
Basically Billy Bob had a hissy fit when he was introduced with mention of his career. Pretty standard stuff. Billy Bob should expect this – it’s the media, and the media is doing their job by creating context for the listener. Both myself and DaveyB noticed the note on the Jian’s laptop above – presumably from the shows produce. “If this really goes sideways – I have new Neil, new Metric standing by.”
Billy Bob says in the interview that Jian was instructed not to talk about his career, but Billy Bob’s publicist denies this:

Robinson confirms that while it’s true Thornton does not like to be asked about his movie career while he’s out promoting his band, Ghomeshi was never “instructed” to avoid the topic. “Bottom line: We don’t tell people what questions they can or cannot ask,” Robinson says.

If anyone is thinking that any press is good press, this may be a chance to see that some press can be bad. Also, if Billy Bob wanted to downplay his movie career, it’s safe to say that it didn’t quite work out.
Here’s an excerpt from the hosts blog:

Today, we were visited by country pop band, The Boxmasters. The Boxmasters biggest claim to fame is that their singer is Oscar-winning screenwriter/actor/director Billy Bob Thornton. If you were listening, you heard what could best be described as a ‘showdown at the Q corral’ when Mr. Thornton took offense to our mention of his cinematic accomplishments.

As you can see from the video capture above, Billy Bob was looking a bit messed up – some have suggested Billy Bob was under the influence, and as shown in the top capture, his band was looking pretty uncomfortable.
A tame but telling quote from the interview:

“Canadian audiences seem to be very reserved,” said Billy Bob Thornton. “We tend to play places where people throw things at each other. Here, they just sort of sit there. And it doesn’t matter what you say to ’em. … It’s mashed potatoes but no gravy.”

As someone who has done around a hundred live, on air interviews, I can attest to the fact that Jian ended up in a really, really awkward spot and he did a really good job considering he was faced with a spoiled brat grown older. He could have kicked the band out the door at any time but he carried it through. Good sport. I’ll leave the rest for the video below:

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  1. WOW, he was up too early or something. Reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman not long ago. Great actors can sure act like titanic assholes when they want to eh?

  2. Props to the interviewer for salvaging something form this. And for not confronting the issue with BBT politely and not alllowing him to get away with his pissy fit. Nice post.

  3. @Iowa – Good call on Joaquin Phoenix, it’s much like that except with a really awkward band that tries to save for him. Titanic asshole indeed.
    @Graham – I think I know what you mean by that – I agree, props to the interviewer for not pandering to the curmudgeon.

  4. This behavior disgusts me. Who does he think he is?!
    I too think Jian Ghomeshi handled it quite well, and it figures – he’s a great interviewer and great host. Give his show another chance, it’s really good listening with lots of interesting topics.
    Bottom line: I would have much rather heard the new Metric stuff than listen to any music this jerk makes.

  5. When I first watched the video, I was curious to know what was on the producer’s talkback computer, so I switched it to HD. I pretty much laughed my ass off when I saw it, in between feeling much awkwardness for Jian, much respect for the producer, and much pity for BBT.
    Once I was the king of Spain . . . =)

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