Billy Bob Thornton survived on powdered donuts, rum and free pizza for a year before his career took off
Anyone who has followed the cinema for the past 30 years certainly knows Billy Bob Thornton. The actor has become a Hollywood icon for his daring performances and his varied choice of projects. But like many other stars, Thornton had to fend for himself before he hit it big. And his fans might be surprised how he survived the year before fame hit.
Billy Bob Thornton is an Oscar-winning star
Thornton began landing film and television roles in the late 1980s. But it was the 1990s that saw him establish himself as a major Hollywood talent. The actor wrote and starred in 1992 A wrong move then wrote, directed and starred in 1996 slingshot bladefor which he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Throughout the 1990s and beyond, Thornton continued to appear in a wide range of blockbuster films, including Armageddon, The Monster Ball, Bad Santa, Friday night lightsand Sharp eye. Most recently, he appeared in the Netflix action thriller The gray man with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, which hit the streaming service in 2022.
Billy Bob Thornton went through a tough time ahead of his big break
Long before heading to Hollywood, Thornton shared a one-room apartment with writer Tom Epperson in Los Angeles. And as he told The Oprah Master Class in 2014, the couple really struggled financially, paying $90 a week to keep their apartment. Luckily, Epperson and Thornton got by with a job at a local pizzeria where he earned $96 a week. With the remaining $6, the pair would treat each other to rum and powdered donuts every Friday.
The rest of the time, Thornton lived on pizza from his day job. The restaurant provided workers with a free personal pizza at lunchtime, but Thornton kept his own until the end of his shift each evening. Despite the “constant fever of poverty, indecision and despair”, Thornton said he and Epperson “were not fazed by it”. He attributes this to the fact that “it wasn’t like [they] would come back to something amazing” where they came from. So they stayed to pursue their dreams.
What is Billy Bob Thornton worth now?
Over the years, Thornton has proven himself not only a gifted actor, but also a screenwriter, producer, director, and even a musician. And although his personal life tends to attract attention, he still has an impressive net worth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Thornton is worth around $45 million.
The cancellation of his popular Amazon Prime Video series Goliath could affect its net income. However, Thornton was never one to wait for the sequel. The actor already has a new film in post-production. Where all the light tends to go – based on the book by David Joy – stars Thornton and Robin Wright. It should be released in 2023.
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