NEW YORK – Actor Billy Bob Thornton embodies lawyer Billy McBride in the third season of “Goliath,” where he will solve a mysterious case in California plagued by drought, he told EFE in an interview.
The acclaimed series, which premieres on October 4 on Amazon Prime Video, is a contemporary western with nods to the classic film noir genre.
“This case is about water rights and water in Central California, that’s the real thing we hear about it,” Thornton said of the state he has lived in for the last 40 years and that, beyond the glamour associated with Beverly Hills and Malibu, has vast areas affected by endemic droughts.
“We live in California, we hear probably more about it than the rest of the country or rest of the world,” the US actor added.
“Each year there’s a David vs. Goliath, you know, the big farmers who have and the little ones who have not, so it’s not only me against them but it’s also the people who live there in central valley.”
Goliath, in the words of its chief executive Lawrence Trilling, addresses the corruption people face on an institutional level every season when it came to the water crisis.
He added that there was no more urgent issue than water and climate change.
McBride, a burned-out lawyer who has lost more cases than he would have liked of late, goes to the Central California Valley following the death of an old friend where he hooks up with a billionaire rancher and his sister, played by Dennis Quaid and Amy Brenneman.
Both actors are new faces to the stellar cast who Thornton says made him feel “at home.”
The pair play Wade and Diana Blackwood, two “multi, multi, multi-million dollar almond farmers” who are brother and sister but share a fluid relationship and a love that knows no limits.
Several scenes featuring the eccentric duo have a psychedelic element because she “consumes hallucinogens in microdoses,” Brenneman said.
The third season will see members of the old McBride gang, including Patty Solis-Papagian (played by Nina Arianda) and Brittany Gold (Tania Raymonde).
Other actors who will make appearances include Beau Bridges, Griffin Dune, Sherilyn Fenn, Julia Jones and Shamier Anderson, with the double role of twin brothers who are very close to the Blackwoods.
The interesting thing about the Blackwoods is that they embody the American dream of capitalism, business and excess, Brenneman added.
“There will be a lot of mystery,” Thornton warned.
“Last year loose ends were tied and some of those things come back. At first, I really don’t look for a case, but it comes to me through people I know,” the winner of a Golden Globe for his performance in the series said.
Thornton identifies with McBride to such an extent he often speaks of his character in the first person.
“Absolutely I’m kinda playing myself in a lot of ways,” the actor admitted.
“If I were a lawyer in LA I’d probably be about like he is. It’s one of the closest parts to myself that I’ve ever played I think and his sense of justice, humanity is pretty much the same as mine.”
Thornton acknowledged that he tries not to prepare for the role because when the time comes there is no way of anticipating how the rest of the cast will act.
The actor, who is renowned for improvising on set, said that on this occasion he hardly freestyled because the writers did such a good job of the dialogues.
The 64-year-old artist, musician and actor downplayed the awards he has been given throughout his career.
“I don’t pay too much attention anymore,” Thornton said.
“I’ve been around a long time. Once you do a bunch of awards, on the one hand, you think I can relax now I already have those things, on the other hand all of a sudden there’s an expectation from people that you’re gonna get more of them, so it puts a little pressure, but certainly when you are out there working you don’t think about it,” he said.