Inside The Actor’s Studio
James Lipton…..Will Ferrell
…..Billy Bob Thornton
[ open on James Lipton staring out into the crowd stone-faced from behind his glass desk ]
James Lipton: If I had a choice between interviewing my next guest.. or getting in my homemade time machine, going back in time and interviewing William Shakespeare.. I would tell the Bard of Avon to go screw himself! For if a single frame from one of our guest’s movies were placed in an envelope.. wrapped in linen.. and sealed in a lead sarcophagus.. it would still be so powerful it could cure some form of malaria. Ladies and gentlemen.. please welcome.. Billy Bob Thornton.
[ Billy Bob Thornton enters the stage and sits in the chair across from James Lipton ]
James Lipton: William Robert Thornton. Welcome.
Billy Bob Thornton: Thank you. It’s nice to be here.
James Lipton: [ grabs a card from his stack, and reads ] My first question: Between your role as the whining husband in “Zombie Chicks in Chopper Town”.. your role as Dan Truman in “Armageddon”.. and Jonas Salk’s discovery of the polio vaccine.. which do you think was more important to the course of human history?
Billy Bob Thornton: [ laughs ] I think we all know the answer to that one!
James Lipton: Yes. We all do. Dan Truman, “Armageddon”. [ pause ] You grew up in Arkansas..
Billy Bob Thornton: Yeah.
James Lipton: When you were six, you skinned your knee playing tetherball with Roger Dale Kennedy.. when you were eleven, you bought a hat. When did you first realize you were a brilliant genius?
Billy Bob Thornton: [ laughs ] Well, I don’t really think of myself that way at all.
James Lipton: [ laughing uproariously ] When Jean Claude van Damme was on the show, he said acting is like a ferocious bag of hope with wide feet and thick, yellow fingernails. Would you say that is “une pa tette jous”? Or would you say “Te es pa ta je”?
Billy Bob Thornton: What are you talking about?!
James Lipton: [ guffaws ] Well played! Dear God, well played! [ composes himself ] When you played Dan Truman in “Armageddon”, did the feeling..?
Billy Bob Thornton: [ disturbed ] Why do you keep bringing up “Armageddon”?! I don’t understand that! I didn’t even want to be in that movie! Why do you keep bringing up movies like that! I’ve told you that before! Now you’re speaking in French and stuff, I don’t even understand you! What’s wrong with you!
James Lipton: Well played, yet again, good friend! [ guffaws ] Good friend!
[ cut to James Lipton watching the broadcast from a control studio, snacking on Pringles ]
James Lipton: That’s unbelievable! Look at the French between us!
Gladys: Mr. Lipton? This came for you.
James Lipton: Oh. Thank you, Gladys. [ laughs as he reads letter: “Lipton, You’re a dead man, Love, Billy Bob Thornton” ]
Jason: What is it?
James Lipton: It is a hilarious joke from my new friend Billy Bobby, in the form of a death threat. Well.. I’m off! [ stands ] Oh, uh.. Jason? Are you going to finish that sandwich?
James Lipton: [ takes sandwich ] I’m off! [ exits the control booth ]
James Lipton: [ cut to overhead shot of James Lipton walking down a crowded street, as his cell phone rings ] Hello?
Billy Bob Thornton: Did you get my note?
James Lipton: Of course I did, Will Rob! And it was a delight!
Billy Bob Thornton: I’m serious, Lipton, you’re a dead man.
James Lipton: Excellent!
Billy Bob Thornton: You have got ten seconds to live! Do you understand me, you freak?!
[ Billy Bob hangs up the phone and loads his rifle ]
[ James Lipton stops at a hot dog vendor ]
James Lipton: Well played, indeed! Five hot dogs, my good man!
[ upstairs, Billy Bob points his rifle down towards Lipton ]
[ rifle scope hones in as Lipton receives his hot dogs below ]
James Lipton: Let the mustard flow like a yellow river of goodness!
[ the rifle is fired, as hot dogs fly everywhere. James Lipton screams and runs down the street. Annoyed that his shots missed, Billy Bob enters the street and chases after Lipton on foot. In an attempt to escape, Lipton runs in front of a taxi cab, and is hit and knocked to the ground. Satisfied, Billy Bob starts to walk away, then feels pity and turns to help Lipton in the street. ]
Billy Bob Thornton: Somebody call an ambulance! James?
James Lipton: [ coming to, glasses bent out of shape ] Billy Bob..?
Billy Bob Thornton: I’m really sorry, I just got carried away.. I’m truly sorry.. just stay here, stay with me, okay? Just hang on a minute, buddy. I’ll even answer the questions..
James Lipton: [ mumbles the questions in French ]
Billy Bob Thornton: Yeah, whatever, yeah.
James Lipton: What is your favorite curse word?
Billy Bob Thornton: I don’t know, man.. sonofa-
James Lipton: We’ll shoot it back at the studio, save it!
Billy Bob Thornton: The studio?
James Lipton: The studio! Yes, it will be glorious! If you will just help me..
[ dissolve back to James Lipton and Billy Bob Thornton in the studio. Lipton now wears a neck brace and a sling around his right arm, making it difficult for him to pick up one of the cards from his stack. ]
James Lipton: Could.. could you help me with me card..? [ Billy Bob reaches over to hand Lipton one of the cards ] “Armageddon”.. was filmed on location in Montana..
Billy Bob Thornton: Houston.
James Lipton: Houston?
Billy Bob Thornton: Yes.
James Lipton: Of course! Delightful!
[ fade out ]