Intolerable Cruelty - Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush Interview

13 October 2003

Intolerable Cruelty
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Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush Interview

Intolerable Cruelty is a romantic comedy about a man who wins in court and a woman who courts to win.

A mix of Beverly Hills high glamour and maliciously competitive fun, it brings together in movie matrimony the high-powered filmmaking talents of Academy Award ® winners BRIAN GRAZER (A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile) and JOEL COEN & ETHAN COEN (Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) with two of the screen’s biggest and brightest stars, GEORGE CLOONEY (Ocean’s Eleven, The Perfect Storm) and Academy Award® winner CATHERINE ZETA-JONES (Chicago, Traffic), along with a cast of unusual pedigree, including Oscar® winner BILLY BOB THORNTON (Monster’s Ball, The Man Who Wasn’t There), Oscar® winner GEOFFREY RUSH (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine), CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER (Barbershop, The Original Kings of Comedy), EDWARD HERRMANN (Nixon, The Emperor’s Club) and RICHARD JENKINS (Changing Lanes, The Man Who Wasn’t There).

One of Australia’s most respected actors, Geoffrey Rush’s (Donovan Donaly) career has spanned over 70 theatrical productions and some 20 feature films.
After taking a degree in English at the University of Queensland, Geoffrey traveled to Paris in 1975 to study at the Jaques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theatre.

On his return to Australia, he played the Fool opposite Warren Mitchell’s King Lear and co-starred with roommate Mel Gibson in Waiting for Godot. He was a principal member of Jim Sharman’s pioneering Lighthouse ensemble in the early ‘80s, where he played leading roles in numerous classics.

As a director, he has staged productions for the Queensland Theatre Company, the Adelaide Festival, Company B Belvoir and Magpie Theatre for Young People, for which he served as director for two years. Geoffrey has also staged his own co-adaptation of Aristophanes’ Frogs.

In 1989, Geoffrey’s lead performance in Neil Armfield’s production of The Diary of a Madman earned him the Sydney Critics’ Circle Award for Most Outstanding Performance, the Variety Club Award for Best Actor and the 1990 Victorian Green Room Award for Best Actor. This highly acclaimed production toured Moscow and St. Petersburg before a triumphant return season at the Adelaide Festival.

Film - Intolerable Cruelty - Trailer Feature
Film - Intolerable Cruelty - Trailer Feature
Film - Intolerable Cruelty - Trailer Feature
Film - Intolerable Cruelty - Trailer Feature

For the next three years, Geoffrey received Best Actor nominations in the Sydney Critics’ Circle Awards for his starring roles in Gogol’s The Government Inspector, the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and Mamet’s Oleanna, in which he co-starred with Cate Blanchett. In 1994 Geoffrey received rave reviews for his role as Horatio in the Company B Belvoir production of Hamlet. In the same year, he received the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for his work in theatre.

Geoffrey’s Australian film credits include Gillian Armstrong’s Starstruck and Oscar and Lucinda; Neil Armfield’s Twelfth Night; George Whaley’s On Our Selection; Children of the Revolution with Judy Davis and Sam Neill; and A Little Bit of Soul, directed by Peter Duncan.

Geoffrey was lauded for his lead role as pianist David Helfgott in Shine, receiving numerous awards, including: AFI, New York and Los Angeles Film Critics’ Awards; a Broadcast Film Critics’ Award; a Film Critics’ Circle of Australia Award; a SAG Award; a Golden Globe Award; a BAFTA Award; and an Oscar® for Best Actor. More recently, Geoffrey starred opposite Barbara Hershey in the critically acclaimed Lantana. His upcoming Australian releases include Swimming Upstream.

Geoffrey played Inspector Javert in Les Misérables, directed by Bille August; and Walsingham in Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He played Henslowe in Shakespeare in Love, directed by John Madden, for which he received a BAFTA Award, an Oscar® nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1999, Geoffrey played Casanova in Mystery Men for Universal Pictures; Steven B. Price in House on Haunted Hill, directed by William Malone; and The Marquis de Sade in Quills, directed by Phillip Kaufman. Geoffrey played the role of Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama, directed by John Boorman, and will soon appear as Superintendent Hare in Gregor Jordan’s Ned Kelly, alongside Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom.

Rush’s other film projects include The Banger Sisters and Frida, and the recent hits The Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Nemo. He recently finished production on HBO Films’ The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Academy Award®-winning writer, actor, director and musician, Billy Bob Thornton (Howard D. Doyle) has an extensive and impressive career in motion pictures, television and theater. Charismatic and uniquely talented, Thornton has established himself as one of the most sought after filmmakers of his generation.

Billy Bob Thornton is currently celebrating a high-water mark in his career. Having recently wrapped starring roles in the upcoming epic The Alamo (in which he portrays legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett) and the black comedy Bad Santa (in which he co-stars with Bernie Mac), he will also be seen in the upcoming Richard Curtis ensemble comedy Love Actually, also starring Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

Showing the versatility of his acting abilities, in 2001 Thornton starred in the caper comedy Bandits for director Barry Levinson and co-starring Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett; the noir The Man Who Wasn’t There for the Coen brothers; and the heart-wrenching drama Monster’s Ball, in which he co-starred with Halle Berry, Peter Boyle and Heath Ledger.

Each of the three performances garnered Thornton unprecedented critical acclaim and resulted in him being named Best Actor of 2001 by the National Board of Review and receiving Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Drama for The Man Who Wasn’t There and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Bandits, as well as an American Film Institute Award nomination for Best Actor for The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Thornton’s 1996 release of the critically acclaimed and phenomenally popular feature film Sling Blade (in which he starred and directed from an original script he wrote), firmly secured his status as a pre-eminent filmmaker. For his efforts, he was honored with both an Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor. The film also starred Robert Duvall, J.T. Walsh, Dwight Yoakum and John Ritter.

Prior to Sling Blade, Thornton already had an extensive motion picture credit list. He wrote and starred in the thrilling character drama One False Move, which brought him immediate critical praise. Thornton’s powerful script (co-written with Tom Epperson) was enhanced by his intense performance as a hunted criminal. The film, directed by Carl Franklin, was an unheralded sleeper success.

In addition, Thornton has been featured in such films as The Winner for director Alex Cox; Indecent Proposal, directed by Adrian Lyne; Deadman for Jim Jarmusch; and Tombstone for George Cosmatos. He has also appeared in On Deadly Ground, Bound By Honor, For The Boys and The Stars Fell on Henrietta.

As a writer, Thornton has worked on numerous projects for United Artists, Miramax, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Touchstone Pictures, Island Pictures, David Geffen Productions and HBO. He also scripted A Family Thing, a highly regarded feature film that starred Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones.

Thornton has also co-starred in the blockbuster action-adventure film Armageddon with Bruce Willis; co-starred opposite Sean Penn and Nick Nolte in U-Turn, directed by Oliver Stone; and starred in Primary Colors opposite John Travolta and Emma Thompson for director Mike Nichols. He also starred in the dark comedy Pushing Tin opposite John Cusack.

Thornton received an Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his celebrated work in the tightly woven drama A Simple Plan for director Sam Raimi, as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild.

For his second and third directorial outings, Thornton chose the comedy Daddy and Them, which he again wrote and starred in, and the epic screen version of the best-selling Cormac McCarthy novel, All the Pretty Horses, starring Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz and Henry Thomas.

Thornton also co-wrote The Gift, starring Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi and Hilary Swank.

Thornton was most recently seen in the comedy Waking Up In Reno, co-starring Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze and Natascha Richardson; and the drama Levity, in which he co-starred with Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst.

Release Date 10th October 2003
Distributor: UIP
Cert: tbc
Running time: tbc

Intolerable Cruelty
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