Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton has played ace attorney Billy McBride in Amazon Prime’s drama Goliath for four seasons, but for the premiere of the series’ last season, he sat in the director’s chair.
“They had to twist my arm a little bit,” Thornton tells ABC Audio.
“I even begged them to take my name off because I don’t really fancy myself a director,” he continued, despite having an Oscar nomination for Sling Blade. “You know, it’s kind of uncomfortable directing people that you’ve been working with for three seasons. You know, it’s like, ‘Oh, hey, we’re buddies, we’re actors…’ OK, now I’m your boss and here’s what you’re going to do."”
After his character survived being shot in the season three finale, there was a lot of ground to cover for the new season, Thornton explained: “The first episode is the one that has to establish everything. So it’s kind of a hard job in a way, but it actually turned out to be fun directing.”
The new season has McBride and his team facing off against a family-owned pharmaceutical company being sued for contributing to the opioid crisis. Law & Order vet and Oscar winner JK Simmons plays the company’s icy CEO; screen legend Bruce Dern plays Simmons’ brother.
Another addition to the cast for the final season is Hunger Games veteran Jena Malone, who plays an attorney with some big shoes to fill.
“It’s such a great series, so many well-developed characters and well-loved characters,” Jena enthuses. “It’s always nice to walk into an environment where things already feel so exciting [and] trying to figure out how you can bring something new to that to also allow these characters to finish their journey for the audience.”
Goliath returns Friday on Amazon Prime.
(Video contains uncensored profanity.)
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