≡ Menu

Billy Bob Thornton Quotes

Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton quotes: on why he started writing, how to achieve perfection, why ignorance is awesome, and more.

“Somewhere along the line we stopped believing we could do anything.  And if we don’t have our dreams, we have nothing.”

“You can’t knock a place where you realized your dreams.”

“You better know what you want to do before someone knows it for you.”

“You’re not going to get exactly what you want unless it’s your vision from beginning to end.”

“My process started when I was born.  The process is life experience.  I believe that what makes you an artist, or at least an artist who can communicate the ideas that they want to get across, are people that have life experience.”

“I attribute all my success to ignorance.  If you don’t ever think about not getting where you want to be, I think it helps you out.”

“People think you have to be tortured or miserable to write, but I’m finding that I get inspired a lot more these days before I’m happy.”

“I guess I’m just really ready for people to kind of settle down and know each other again and root for each other as opposed to look for the faults in each other.”

“Anytime you get a chance to play some extreme character, in any direction, it’s always a great blessing.”

“As an artist, that’s where a lot of your stuff comes from.  You keep honoring those people forever by singing that song or writing that movie or doing that part in the movie or writing a book, whatever it is that has a sadness and a melancholy and a fear in it.  Those are the things that keep them alive – whatever you put into your work or your family or your art.”

“Playing normal-looking characters really intimidates me.  I got into acting to play anyone but me.”

“I have been fortunate to get some really good scripts over the years and I haven’t turned down anything that I regretted so far.”

“I love acting with all my heart and I love music with all my heart.”

“I figured I would have to tell someone to kiss my ass before it was all over, and I have – twice.”

“My mom is such a big supporter of mine.  She still is, and always was.  So I got the sort of encouragement from that side of the family.”

“I’m kind of sad and happy all the time.  Just kind of like feeling, you know, full of life and confident, and at the same time terrified.  I’m all of those things at once.”

“I tend to like to move on.  I don’t sit around and dwell on things much.”

“Life is magical and I guess my thing is, I wish that people wanted that magic.”

“Acting is playing – it’s actually going out on a playground with the other kids and being in the game, and I need that.  Writing satisfies that part of myself that longs to sit in my room and dream.”

“Sometimes it’s just in your subconscious, a collection of people you’ve known over the years, and they come together in your head.”

“I had this catering job that changed my life.  I was working this party where all these real powerful Hollywood types were just filling the room, like a who’s who of Hollywood, right?  Then this little German guy asks me if I’m an actor.  So I said, ‘Yeah,’ and we started talking.  He said, ‘You’ll never make it just being an actor.  You’re not good-looking or ugly enough to stand out.  Can you write?’  I said, ‘Yeah, I can write.  My buddy Tom Epperson and I have written a couple things.’  ‘That’s the ticket,’ he said.  ‘Stick with the writing and you’ll make it.'”

“I had no clue who the man was!  But that’s when I got really serious about writing.  And that is what changed everything.”

“When I first started writing scripts, I never really thought about being a writer.  I wrote short stories when I was a teenager, but I always wanted to be an actor.  When I came to L.A., I took an acting class, and that’s all I thought about.  When Tom Epperson and I starting writing scripts together back in 1980, it was initially just to get in the movie business.  But I always had a knack for characters and dialogue, and I thought it was fun.”

“Usually when I’m writing, I kind of know what it is before I start writing and I write stream-of-consciousness style.”

“It takes too much out of you to write a movie and direct it and spend you know, a year and a half of your life on it and then have people either sh*t on it or not see it.  Maybe if I make it to 85 or something, I’ll sit around and write a novel.”

“I’ve got three more movies that I really want to make.  And then I think I’m going to quit.  Maybe something will come up between now and then, but right now, I know I’ve got three.  Beyond that, I’d be reaching for something.  To put it simply, I would like to be the southern Woody Allen.  I can’t really write about anything else.  That’s what I’m good at, that’s what my experience has been.  I like the idea of acting and directing and writing my own scripts.”

“Don’t pay any attention to anyone’s advice.  Make your movie about something that’s close to you, that’s your thing, as opposed to trying to make something that you think ‘they’ll’ like.  Basically, know what it smells like, feels like, tastes like and sounds like, and then go do it.  And nobody else has to know what you’re doing, except you.  That’s my advice.”

“And in a lot of ways I am religious.  I kind of believe in everything, as opposed to believing in nothing or believing in one particular thing.  The scientific way of thinking is, if I can’t see it or touch it, then it doesn’t exist.  But there is such a thing as infinity, which blows my mind.  That the sky goes forever, I can’t even think about that.  A spring pops in my head.  How can something never end?  But then I think, ‘That’s right, things really can’t end.’  I’ve seen too much evidence of, let’s say, psychic phenomena.  I’ve experienced it in my own life.”

“Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there.  It’s not about winning.  It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends.  Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth.  And that truth is you did everything you could.  There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done.  Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart?  If you can do that, gentlemen – you’re perfect!”

“If you love somebody, let them know every day.”

“At the risk of sounding pompous, I’m going to say that my life has been, up to this point, similar to Davey Crockett’s.  Davey Crockett was born in the backwoods.  I grew up in the backwoods.  He was a storyteller.  He was a humorous guy.  He was a serious guy.  He was kind of a tough guy at times.  There are things that are so parallel that it’s kind of frightening.”

“I feel a certain peace inside myself right now.  I’ve reached that place.  And I don’t know any other way to say it.”

“You know what, I’m just a regular guy.  I really am.”

Now hear from his ex, Angelina Jolie.

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.