April 3rd, 2009

In Conversation with...Bill Paxton

I went to the SFF's "In Conversation with"...Bill Paxton this evening. It was a lot like the show "inside the actors studio", but without that annoying James Lipton. Steve Persall, movie critic for the St. Petersburg Times moderated. Bill was really witty and down home...He wore boots that were made to match some replicas of those worn by Tom Mix. He says hes actually not that comfortable in front of people so acting is a double challenge for him. His parents influenced him, especially his father who would take him to movies as a kid growing up in Texas....His father would not go to the blockbusters but take them to more significant films and analyze them (music wardrobe, acting). This gave Bill an insight into the industry at a young age. His father (now in his 80s), as a retiree from the lumber business, has taken up acting himself and is somewhat sucessful playing the butler in the spiderman movies.

When an audience member asked Bill how he felt about the polygamous lifestyle of his character on "BIG LOVE", Bill remarked that as a youth his mom would take them to Christian church services while his father would nude sunbathe under a backyard oak tree, reading the newest bond book. Therefore he developed an opened minded attitude, while in a conservative area of the USA. He said his father was a "liberal conservative." He also remarked that although he thought polygamy would be a difficult lifestyle he could see how his characters' "bumblebee-like" activies could be appealing.

Bill talked about how after doing the "Titanic", James Cameron took him down in a sub to see the actual ship wreakage. That seeing that the ship actually split in two in person brought the sinking to life and was a very overwhelming experience.
He ended the night answering a question from the audience about whether it is difficult doing the love scenes in "BIG LOVE"....and he remarked that its totally unerotic to do a love scene but that the director told him beforehand that he apologized if he got an erection while watching the love scene, but he apologized even more if he didn't!