Billy Bob Thornton on His 'Goliath' Character: "He Knows What It's Like to Be Somebody, and Right Now He's Not" | Drama Actor Roundtable

"The hardest thing on 'Goliath' was learning what all this legal stuff meant, and once I knew what it meant, then you feel like a lawyer," Thornton told THR.

Billy Bob Thornton says he was drawn to his role on Goliath because he could relate to the lead character.

"I like the idea of a guy who knows what it's like to be somebody, and right now they're not," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter during the Drama Actor Roundtable.

On the show, Thornton plays Billy McBride, a washed-up lawyer who's fallen from grace. The role earned Thornton a Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a drama series. For the veteran actor, the most challenging aspect of the role was taking a deep dive into legal jargon.

"The hardest thing on Goliath was learning what all this legal stuff meant, and once I knew what it meant, then you feel like a lawyer," he explains.

Although he may have years of experience under his belt, Thornton says he believes his best days were his early years. "After a while, you forget what it feels like to dream," says Thornton. 

"I remember being so alive and so eager and so in a fever, but when you have everything ahead of you and you're dreaming like that, it feels so great," he says.

Thornton explains that maybe at the time he wished his situation was different, but he's since had a change of heart. "When I look back on those days now, they were some of the best times of my life."

More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actresses, actors, showrunners and reality creators will continue through July in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting May 25 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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