The Sling Blade Oscar-winner and now-ubiquitous movie character actor tells the Los Angeles Daily News that he "got anorexic" in a conscious bid to trim down (way down) for an upcoming movie.
"Frankly, for a while there, I think I had a little mental problem," Thornton tells the newspaper. "I got anorexic; of course, I denied it to my girlfriend [Laura Dern] and everyone else who said I had an eating disorder."
The actor says his weight fell 59 pounds--from 197 during the shoot for Oliver Stone's U-Turn, to 138 for Pushing Tin, a not-yet-released black comedy about air-traffic controllers.
"That was by design," Thornton says, in the newspaper. "But I had a few articles come out--'What's the deal with him? Is he sick?'"
Nope, he says. "I just got too skinny," he says.
Thornton, 43, says today he's a healthy 160 (doesn't drink, doesn't eat dairy products, only smokes American Spirit cigarettes). He doesn't elaborate on how he started putting back on the poundage. His publicist today called the weight-loss angle a "non-story."
A slimmed-down version of the actor currently can be seen on screen in the Fargo-esque drama A Simple Plan. Last weekend, the role brought him honors as best supporting actor from both the Los Angeles and Boston critics.
Thornton won his Oscar in 1997 for writing Sling Blade. He also starred in and directed the movie.