Billy Bob Bound to Angelina by Blood

ByStephen Schaefer

May 14, 2001 -- (CANNES, France) — Billy Bob Thornton was in Cannes promoting his new movie for the Coen brothers, The Man Who Wasn't There, and keenly missing his wife, who also wasn't there, Angelina Jolie.

Thornton has found a way to keep Angie, who's in Canada filming Life or Something Like It, close to him. As rumored, he has her blood in an amulet hanging from his neck, along with a silver cross and a Catholic rosary.

"People say they're soul mates, but when you really mean it, you have to prove it, and we give each other our blood," he explained. Jolie has bought them a pair of matching funeral plots so they can be very close together forever and ever.

He proudly displayed his two new tattoos — Jolie has new ones too — to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. The inside of Thornton's arm has "Angelina" written on it, with four red drops of blood dripping below it to his wrist. And the inside of his right elbow is decorated with the same Egyptian-style symbol worn by Jolie.

"The drops are for Angelina and me and my two sons. This one," he said, pointing to the symbol, "no one knows" what it really means (except Thornton and his wife).

Thornton conceded that the couple hears from "a lot of doubters. People think we're the least likely people to have a regular marriage, but if you were around us, you'd see we have the best one around." He immediately contradicted himself by saying, "I don't know if it's a good marriage, it's a question of we have no choice."

Anyone still in the fog about how much this man loves Jolie, line up before the end of the year at your nearby record store. "I'll have a record this year on Mercury," he revealed. "I wrote a couple of songs for her on it and they pretty much say everything."

Coen Brothers Unveil Murder MysteryBilly Bob conquered his fear of flying to make it to Cannes, thanks to a couple of Xanaxes. "I used to have fear of flying, but now it's not so bad," he said. "I've only flown on private jets for the past five years. This was the first commercial flight I've taken in that time." It's also his first trip to Cannes.

It's hardly the first time at Cannes for the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, however, who premiered O, Brother Where Art Thou? here last year and were awarded the Palme d'Or for 1991's Barton Fink.

This year, they world-premiered the black-and-white 1940s murder drama The Man Who Wasn't There. During filming, it was known as The Barber Movie because it's about a man (Thornton) who works in a barber shop; his adulterous wife, Frances McDormand (who is Mrs. Joel Coen off-screen); and her boss (James Gandolfini).

Casting the barber, who, in true '40s film noir fashion, narrates the story in a world-weary voiceover, was tricky. "What we were thinking about more was someone who could be that passive and be interesting," said Joel. "The barber does very little and yet he's in every scene, he is the movie. That's one of the most difficult things you can ask an actor to do, to be that still."

"And have the confidence to do just that," added Ethan.

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