Billy Bob and the Bard

“Billy: Bard’s a load of bull.” That’s the headline on a piece at The Sun Newspaper Online. There’s more:

HOLLYWOOD star Billy Bob Thornton has created Much Ado in the acting world — by branding William Shakespeare “bulls**t”.

The heavily-tattooed American actor, 49 — whose films include Bad Santa and Armageddon — launched an astonishing attack on the Bard.

He compared the legendary English playwright’s work to corny soap operas.

He said: “I think Shakespeare’s overrated. It’s bulls**t. I’d never go and see a Shakespeare play. Who’d want to see me in Hamlet?…

“It’s not that I don’t understand it. But people think if you speak with an English accent it somehow makes you smarter.

“I don’t believe in all the flowery language — all of his plays are just a series of soap operas.”

Billy Bob — who plays a foul-mouthed Father Christmas in the Santa comedy — likened works such as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet to US daytime drama Days Of Our Lives….

Well, Billy Bob, no one would want to see you in Hamlet, that’s for sure. If he thinks there’s nothing more to Shakespeare than “flowery language” he doesn’t understand it, in spite of his protestations. But what do you expect from someone who starred in Bad Santa, a vile piece of trash that I tolerated for about five minutes. If the DVD hadn’t been a rental I would have smashed it.

Actually, I think Billy Bob’s in a bad mood because he’s made so many stinkers lately. Not counting Bad Santa, six of his last seven movies have garnered fair-to-terrible ratings by viewers, according to Internet Movie Database.