Why Billy Bob Thornton Changed from Movies to TV

Thornton reveals why he changed the channel from film to TV.
3:00 | 04/25/14

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Transcript for Why Billy Bob Thornton Changed from Movies to TV
Your problem that -- -- who lives and commuter rules. -- -- -- -- we had this week had. Truth is -- more from hand. You figure. It's a real time Lester. -- -- -- Hatreds and belong. Us why it's. -- earnest -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The consumer accounts it. Risk and -- washed away. So. Everybody. I'm Peter Travers and welcome -- popcorn we we tell you everything that's going on in the pop culture and I'm telling you there's a show now on FX call. Fargo which is going to make you think Fargo didn't I see that -- -- maybe you did and -- -- -- -- because it's great but what we have is a TV show is entirely different. And yet similar in many ways so how are we going to explain that because I very shrewd we have invited the star of Fargo Billy Bob Thornton. To be my guest today and here yes. Really great to see the -- to see it. So tell that world out there -- Fargo -- -- isn't for. Right. When I was first offered -- that was sent to script immediately for the pilot. I read it. Immediately. And I'd had I didn't really want to get involved in the TV series. That might last six or seven years -- so this is only ten episodes. It's like doing a ten hour movie. Based on Fargo us -- I read the script and it was terrific. And what was great about it was Noah Hawley who wrote it managed to channel the spirit and the tone of the Coen Brothers movie. And yet not imitated which is a pretty big threat and that's a pretty -- track and somehow he pulled it off. So what it is it's like watching Fargo in terms of that Coen Brothers tone that it's dark sense of humor and all. But it's kind of what happened in that area. Of the world after. The movie but different characters different story line and it really felt like making a ten hour independent film honestly because you when I was coming up as an actor in the in the early amenities and there. Television was a bad work. There was like you know if you're going to be on the TV show that either Manger careers in trouble or you're just a young actor coming up when it was fine for the young -- Now TV has this -- -- because it's taken this. Part that the -- there's a gap in the movie business as you well know that does the existing more which is the medium budget. Studio -- like to 25 to 35 million dollar movie for adults. -- -- -- Did they don't -- exist here and and that also the higher budget independent films are ones that were 1213 million. Now offered an account -- of -- wanna give you three million bucks and they wanted to -- ten movie stars and it -- sell off all the foreign territories and stuff. So that partisan exists that's number on the television so baby boomers. You know what's that's kind of my audience -- that's what they do they watch. The TV shows -- what's Mort Walker part of that watch The Sopranos and all the shows you know having been watched acts of intercourse and yeah absolutely and so of this. This fits in there although it you know when I saw the pilot I really felt like I was watching a movie and -- -- realizing. That's becoming a theater for some people -- your home and I think it's headed that direction but I'm hold out -- not given up on movies so I said look I can do ten episodes and it's over which that was my deal. I think this is a great project I'm all for it and loved doing it I'm really happy result. But it also. Was ten episodes so -- -- can still do movies this year you know and if I could have that go on for the next few years of reverse happen. Something this good and still be it would do a couple of movies -- year. Tell everybody a little bit about the tactic that your -- this now sure you know -- malveaux is. Britney his degree in business kind of a -- back in the -- name and also. Just. It just sounds like a guy that. It's like you did don't make a deal of Warren malveaux and head down -- -- Exactly. And his his hit man his killer for hire her -- It is. Very assertive. -- silent almost like an -- operations sometimes you know. The thing that really attracted -- of the characters. He kills with a real casual attitude displaced for the job is -- alligator come more from the animal kingdom -- a lot of ways. And yet he's got this weird sense of humor where he likes to. With his victims. Or pretty much anybody dislikes to mess with them. And he also smells weakness -- people it doesn't respect it and the China takes it upon himself if you meet someone week. To kind of give a few tips how they can -- -- -- their lives. And I guess it depends on how I look at it that's changing for the better -- the -- As a writer and as a director as well when you're in a showed that you haven't written and then you have to think directed -- you stay out of can he keep the idea of the directing and how it's going to look at -- -- And just -- it. Most of the time I say 90% of the time who had a couple of instances over the years one. You know she has together mayors say -- -- are really you -- -- the camera there'll me. Now we explain something to you know every -- -- it happens but. And one of the most important things for an actor -- know. Is who you -- -- you know who you war that's 50% of the job right there. So in other words if they if they're doing a movie about Charles to call a single -- Frenchman I'm on the wrong guy and you know. He now imagining you missed the call over the half million common -- -- -- But. Actually Coen Brothers wanted to do Tarzan with -- once. There were serious. To do a movie we're Tarzan was this is regular guy infant -- wasn't like some big buff you know -- was. Republicans -- ago long flowing hair resisting got me stuck on this article is John yeah exactly is pretty fun I didn't see that now yeah -- -- -- Tennessee. -- I don't see meal loincloth on my basically my legs are bones -- skin stretched over to the different times when people -- They're going in under the direction that's it that's -- of domestic different -- had that's it. But anyway I guess my point is is that you know if -- if you when you read something at least when I read something. I just know if that's for me. -- -- the best guy for this job and that's the ones I try to attack. Every now and then you know -- one that there was going to be a bit of a stretch for me but not not out of -- pond. You know and so when I read forego having worked with the Coen Brothers and I know there -- you know and who wasn't there when it went favorites have. There it that you know what maybe -- It's in my top. Three movies I've ever done and you know largely ignored except for by you and helpless -- -- We're good people we can watch it continuously. -- But you know you this kind of feel -- the guy for the job you know and then. And usually your work is kind of Don once you get there because you -- the script and you know you fit into that. As long as you don't try to over think it usually okay -- I read somewhere once that -- mom was a psych right and that what did she say that you were going to work with Burt Reynolds one day. Then this was when I mean if I were an actor and -- -- -- that path already that wouldn't be like a huge prediction you know that that could happen. But I was even think about who's playing baseball and those in Iraq general ban it was -- it was a common California wasn't doing anything like that. Never expressed any interest in being an actor. And she said for some reason I think Burt Reynolds is have been really instrumental in life returns on -- life. And she was telling about she sees me -- an Academy Awards and stuff azalea at the -- thing I was. Have no idea stuff this was years before ever know one -- to -- -- When people come up to you. And talk to you on the street or wherever you wore it received a restaurant what is the role that they talked you about -- -- The three main ones I would its. Or sling blade. Bad -- And monster's ball. Those of the three that I get more than anything -- have to do honestly did -- ask you to the point you know. Hardly ever they used to there. Most of the time they want to do it for me. You nasty I was resisting them how. -- -- Yeah that's usually -- it. You know I don't all stand on co -- all stand and talk to somebody old law cavalry -- -- and I mean I'll sign whatever anybody wants a standard talk -- But their son is in dental school or whatever it is -- And act and out you know utterly -- very -- and the only thing that ever gets to me is when. They want you to wait so long like. -- -- -- -- animal -- with -- family. And he comes at -- goes. My uncle can do you from -- Boyd of an identical two years ago all of a school BO say hi to your -- He's down that. Tennis shoe -- heroes hang on I'll be right back well -- half. I've got buddies I have actor buddies who would be gone -- so gone yeah. I stood there until like ten minutes -- this -- you know bought some issues. And and he finally brings the uncle back and it was horrible impression -- And I stood there then they all want to make a picture of the whole family and this is the other thing gets me is when they can't operate their equipment. It's like -- start to take the picture we're all smiling and sent on I don't know what to turner all. Jim you come work this thing and then all the whole family tries to work and you're still that I'm still there. But I just wait forever I don't know I've gotta learn. Some of these -- -- maybe at some points can't do this we always ended -- show and saw. I was asked everybody do a little bit of something that's in there you know so -- -- here. What -- Oh Danny boy and the pipes that -- -- -- some risky loan. At all the bruises. -- man and it is too it's too. -- grew in in this. Whether it's the Arkansas virgin. Of the biggest songs in all buyers it's exactly. I could never have expected. -- what I wanted to -- -- otherwise you can't tell you --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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