Belfast Telegraph

Thornton: Filmmakers can’t take risks

Billy Bob Thornton talks about the creative freedom in the making of FX series Fargo.

The actor, who stars in FX series Fargo, says small screen projects have “taken over" bigger-budget independent film, sending the most talented writers to what used to be considered a less prestigious outlet for storytelling.

And he insists excelled interest in television can be boiled down to simple math.

“It has to do with economics,” he told Deadline. “Moviegoers are young people into the social networks, and that is a young man’s game. So movies are either $3 million to $4 million independents that are very hip and plug into something with a 21-year-old, or they are huge event movies.”

The actor believes studio movies have all started to look alike in recent years. And that kind of “mass appeal” means the risk-taking is gone from filmmaking.

“Television isn’t as reliant on stars and trying to hit a certain demographic like you have to in a movie theater. Baby boomers don’t go out as much, they aren’t interacting with each other and they would rather stay home and watch” he explained, adding that many of his colleagues feel the same.

“Frankly, that’s where the serious writing and acting is taking place. The people who grew up making those movies, they’re writing, acting, and producing for television now. Once people see that, the momentum builds. It certainly did with me. And pretty soon, your living room is the new movie theater.”

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From Belfast Telegraph