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Mr Woodcock in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Mr Woodcock

Billy Bob Thornton • Seann William Scott • Susan Sarandon
DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie

Seann William Scott as John Farley, Billy Bob Thornton as Jasper Woodcock and Susan Sarandon as Beverly THE CONCEPT:
At Forest Meadow Middle School, Mr Woodcock (Thornton) runs his PE class like a military boot camp, but John Farly (Scott), uses his painful childhood memories of being in Woodcock’s class in his national bestseller Letting Go: Getting Past Your Past. All the good advice he dishes out in his book gets thrown out the window when he returns to his small town to receive the prestigious ‘Corn Cob Key,’ and discovers his mother Beverly (Sarandon) is dating Mr Woodcock…

U.S. RELEASE: September 14 2007, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


Billy Bob Thornton stars as Jasper Woodcock“There are guys like Woodcock. Growing up in sports as I did, I ran into them all the time. I wasn’t tortured to the degree that Seann’s character was in the movie, but I had some pretty rough coaches who were strict like that. They were intolerant of any human being within 100 miles of them.”

Seann William Scott as “John Farley”“I had really great teachers and some really tough coaches. I was the kind of athlete that takes it seriously, and it consumed me throughout my high school experience. I don’t know if I would be here if it wasn’t for my coaches, because they pushed me to a point where I wasn’t enjoying playing sports any more. And I loved films, so I saw it as an opportunity to not quit sports, but use everything I’d learned as an athlete and transition that into something completely different. I had some brutal coaches that would yell, things like Mr Woodcock would do, but not as funny.”

THORNTON on what he thinks of self-help authors:
“I think they see an easy way of making money off people. Maybe some people get something out of self-help experts, I don’t know. If it helps them out, that’s great. I think sometimes they’re telling you pretty elementary things, making the language flowery. You could boil 290 pages down to two pages, which is like treat everybody right and don’t be selfless, you’ve got to do things for yourself too, blah, blah, blah. With 10 sentences you could write the whole book. For me, it’s silly. Life happens the way it’s going to happen. If you need to read a book for you and Roger to stay together, then you and Roger shouldn’t stay together anyway. That’s the way I look at it.”

“The wrestling scene Billy Bob and I do together was really brutal. For me, I didn’t want to hurt this guy, and he didn’t want to hurt me. After the first day, his foot was broken. I went home and had to tell my friends, ‘Guess what? I broke Billy Bob Thornton’s foot.’”

“In terms of the experience of making the movie, when we did the carnival scenes, we were shooting at night and we were out in the Valley. You know when you get stupid in the middle of the night? You’re up till 4 am. You feel like you’ve smoked a joint all the time.”

SCOTT on whether Thornton lived up to his character's name, Woodcock:
“I didn’t see him changing outfits. To be truthful, even before I met him, with everything I’ve read about him, he’s been an inspiration in every possible way.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #688, October 2007 cover

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