Actor Billy Bob Thornton may have an Oscar and a number of other prestigious honors, but you won't catch him using silver utensils at any of the fancy awards dinners.
Thornton said he and his character in his new film, Monster's Ball have a strange habit in common — they both prefer plastic spoons. Thornton told ABCNEWS' Charlie Gibson that he has a few phobias, one of which prevents him from eating with silver. Read the entire unedited transcript from Thornton's interview on Good Morning America below.
ABCNEWS' CHARLIE GIBSON: Our next guest arrived in Hollywood 20 years ago, and it took 15 of those years before he made it. But, boy, did he make it. Billy Bob Thornton has been making up for lost time ever since. An Oscar, as you know, for writing Sling Blade, an Oscar-winning wife, Angelina Jolie, and now, there is Oscar talk again for him. Tonight, on the heels of two best actor Golden Globe nominations, he's in New York to receive best actor honors from the prestigious National Board of Review for no less than three movies that have come out in the last three months alone. And Thornton is joining us now. It's a pleasure to have you here. Nice to see you again.
BILLY BOB THORNTON: Thanks. You, too.
GIBSON: This movie that we want to talk about today, "Monster's Ball," is really interesting. Halle Berry in it with you. And it's really the story about a man who goes through an extraordinary transition, metamorphosis …
GIBSON: … on the subject of race.
Mm — hmm. And what was the — really, the hardest part of playing it was, the fact that the transformation for the audience only seems like from here to here.
GIBSON: Mm — hmm.
THORNTON: But for a guy like him, it's from a here to here. You know, it's a——it's a very——you know, it seems like a very subtle transformation, you know, to the audience, and yet, for a person like that to change at all is huge. Yeah, so …
GIBSON: Yes, it's a — it's an enormous change. We of — actually, so often we have clips that——that really, we sort of have to throw in, and they don't mean anything, but this is a——a clip I'm going to show you, a——a scene with Thornton's character. He's just been with his father who has just issued a spew of racial epithets. And then he comes out because there are two young African-American boys on his property. Take a look at this clip.
(Clip from Monster's Ball)
GIBSON: Just a brief shot there of Peter Boyle who plays your father.
GIBSON: And Heath Ledger who plays your son.
GIBSON: Did you grow up in that kind of a life?
THORNTON: Yeah. Yeah, I did. I mean, in a lot of ways, the characters in this movie, Peter Boyle reminds me very much of one of my grandfathers. And the character that I played, in a way, my father. Because my father wasn't really a bad guy, you know, but he, you know, had things passed on to him.
GIBSON: In Arkansas …
THORNTON: Yeah, in Arkansas.
GIBSON: … you grew up.
GIBSON: You saw it in restaurants?
THORNTON: I saw it everywhere.
GIBSON: In movies?
THORNTON: I mean, the thing is, you know, people think that segregation was a million years ago. But, I mean, it was in my lifetime. Not that I'm not a million years old, but, I actually remember as a kid, you know, separate drinking fountains and everything.