×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Bad Santa 2’ Director: Billy Bob Wanted ‘Any Crude, Awful Joke’ in Film

“You can’t do a Bad Santa with just me,” said Billy Bob Thornton at the “Bad Santa 2” premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Center in NYC. “You gotta have Brett [Kelly] and Tony [Cox], because it’s the trio. We’re the ZZ Top of nasty Christmas movies.”

It’s been 13 years since “Bad Santa” bowed and now it’s back with even more raunchy jokes and loud-mouthed humor from its original faces – apart from the late Bernie Mac. Thornton reprises his role as Willie, who along with Kelly (who plays Thurman Merman) and Cox (who portrays Marcus), gets into even more holiday shenanigans.

This time around, they’re joined by big names including Kathy Bates, who plays Thornton’s mother, and Christina Hendricks, who is Thornton’s love interest.

Bates, however, is not your typical mom.

“She doesn’t take crap from anybody. She drinks hard, smokes hard, she’s a tough lady,” Bates shared. “I think what’s cool about the movie is that when she does get together with her son after all of this time, there are moments when she does feel that tug and remembers the old days.”

The film gets down to Willie’s roots and has a lot of heart.

“It shows where Willie came from and why he’s the way he is,” said Thornton. “This one has got more emotion in it than the first one.”

This was a new type of film for director Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”). “[Billy Bob] said to me, by the way, we can say anything we want, do anything we want. Any crude, awful joke you’ve had up your sleeve, this is your time to put it in a movie,” said Waters. “I was able to let it rip without any filter. It was great.”

As for a possibility of a third film?

“That depends on if this one’s successful,” Thornton told Variety. “If it’s successful and they want to do it, I sure would be open to it. Next time though, maybe somewhere warmer, like Hawaii.”

The film was shot in Montreal, where Bates recalls a fond memory of “freezing [their] rear ends off.”

Following the screening was an energetic after party at Ascent in Columbus Circle. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were served and the dance floor was bumping.

Bad Santa 2” bows Nov. 23.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Scene” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content