Billy Bob Thornton Describes ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’

The actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter describes his first directorial effort in 11 years.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Billy Bob Thornton’s breakthrough was the film he also wrote and directed, Sling Blade. Then he got screwed on his next two directing gigs, All the Pretty Horses and Daddy and Them. It took 11 years but he’s just wrapped another film as director. He spoke about the upcoming Jayne Mansfield’s Car while promoting Puss in Boots at a press conference.

“It’s tonally Sling Blade-like. I think there’s probably more humor in it than Sling Blade but it’s once again, very dark humor as usual,” Thornton said. “It takes place in the 1960s and we’re hoping that it will come out sometime in the late spring or fall of next year. We literally just finished it so we’re still working in post production on it.”

Thornton went on to clarify a few more details. “Just so you know, Jayne Mansfield is more of a metaphor for the movie. It’s not about Jayne Mansfield’s death or anything like that. It’s mentioned but that’s not what it’s about. It’s really about how war affects different generations, done in sort of a darkly humorous way. And about the examination of life and death and the fear and fascination with both.”

He’s got quite a cast for the film too. “It stars myself and Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson and Frances O’Connor. It was a very nice bunch of folks and a great experience. Hopefully I’ll get to come back and talk to you guys about it.”

Thornton provides the voice of Jack, as in Jack and Jill, in the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots