Billy Bob's Filmography


Universal Pictures

Mike Nichols

Richard Jemmons

Movie Quote
RICHARD: You want to walk the snake?  See, look, you don't believe me?  Listen, baby, I'm tellin' you I've got a python in here.

Based on Joe Klein's notorious and bestselling roman à clef about the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign, PRIMARY COLORS tracks the campaign effort of Southern governor (the state is unnamed) Jack Stanton. To young campaign manager Henry Burton (Adrian Lester), Stanton who looks like he might the real thing --a politician who genuinely champions the people.  But Henry's tour with the campaign proves to be an eye-opening, often painful experience in the realities and chicaneries of American politics.

What Billy Bob Gets To Do
When he's not mapping out campaign strategy or weeping over the sacrifices his mama made for him and his six siblings, he's birddogging muffins (the young, female campaign workers) for backroom quickies.  One particular muffin shuts him down with a dismissal of his latest poll.

Yes, Billy Bob did actually ask for then-President Bill Clinton's blessing before taking the role.  Fellow Arkansan Clinton has known Billy Bob and his mother Virginia for years and even got Billy Bob a job with the state highway department many moons ago.  He also spent a day with Clinton's campaign advisor and political gadfly James Carville, one whom the character of Jemmons very is loosely based.  Both Clinton and James Carville appreciated his performance.  The cast gives its all, with Emma Thompson, Larry Hagman (never better!), Kathy Bates (who was Oscar®-nominated for Supporting Actress), Rob Reiner's really, really, REALLY funny cameo as a radio talk show host, Maura Tierney, Diane Ladd, Adrian Lester, Paul Guilfoyle, Allison Janney, and MONK's Tony Shaloub as a character who should have been more careful about germs.  Elaine May adapted the script from Klein's novel.  And if anyone thinks the fictional political shenanigans depicted in PRIMARY COLORS are even a tad exaggerated, just take a look at the 2003 California gubernatorial ballot!  

Awards (for Billy Bob Thornton)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award (Best Supporting Actor) - 1999 - Nomination

The list is practically a landslide; here's the IMDb awards page.

Relevant Links
IMDb Link

Extra Nat Gertler's tale of the shoot
Bomis links to several PRIMARY COLORS sites
MovieWeb review
MRQE links to PRIMARY COLORS reviews
TV Guide review
Love him or hate him, he's James Carville!
And here's Richard Jemmons' next gig!  Karl for President!

Related Merchandise
Joe Klein's provocative novel is an absorbing and entertaining read.  The soundtrack is blessed by the participation of Ry Cooder.

As Dr. Evil would say, "Pretty standard stuff!"  DVD comes with production notes, bios, and the trailer.  Also available on DVD-DTS and VHS.

Photo credit:  © 1998 Universal Pictures

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© 2004 by . . . Like the Wind Productions/Lonesome Rogues Design. This page is intended for entertainment and reference purposes only and is not intended to make a profit.  Film commentary reflects the opinions of the webmasters Amélie and Sage and not the opinions of Billy Bob Thornton or his representatives.