Thomas Jane is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and comic book writer. He has appeared in films such as Padamati Sandhya Ragam, At Ground Zero, The Crow: City of Angels, Boogie Nights, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Thursday, The Thin Red Line, Deep Blue Sea, Dreamcatcher, The Punisher, and The Mist. Jane's television roles include Mickey Mantle in the television film 61* and starring in the HBO series Hung. He is the founder of RAW Studios, an entertainment company he uses to release comic books he has written, the first of which was Bad Planet. He made his directorial debut with the crime thriller Dark Country, in which he also starred.
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I'm originally from Baltimore, Maryland. I'm doing this reddit thing on behalf of VICE which is being released today January 16th in theaters and on-demand, and which stars Bruce Willis and Ambyr Childers (as well as yours truly).
Victoria's helping me get started. AMA!
Tom "The Punisher" Jane!
I'm a huge fan of your work! Keep it up!
So I imagine you're probably a pretty big Punisher comic fan. I actually think that Dirty Laundry was the best portrayal of The Punisher yet and it was AWESOME. The movie was awesome and underrated as well!
Thanks! You're the man!
Yeah, tell 'em I really love Circle of Blood, where Frank gets thrown in prison with a bunch of the guys that he put there.
Well, the Navy SEAL training was some of the hardest and most rewarding training I've ever done. The SEALS that I worked with were some of the most level-headed, intelligent, and loyal people i've ever met. And with the right story - I'd do it again. Yeah.
Do you like watching your own movies?
No, I never watch them once they're finished. When I go to the premiere, I sneak out the back.
What's your typical reaction when fans approach you? Do you find it more flattering or intrusive?
Well, I guess it depends on the fan. Some people are polite. And then other people want to wrestle.
Do you and Jonesy still communicate?
Hehe. He went back to his home planet.
Hello, Thomas. What's your opinion on the Mist ending? It's been appearing on a lot of the people's lists lately as one of the most controversial endings to a movie. If it were entirely up to you, would you keep the ending the same or would you change it to something else?
We got some pressure from the studio to change the ending. They even offered to up the budget. But everyone on the crew agreed that this ending was part of what made THE MIST, THE MIST. And Stephen King told Darabont that he wished he'd thought of it.
What's the story behind the name Jane?
There's a religious group in India, called the Jain religion. My first film was a Bollywood film that i shot in India, when I was 16 years old.
What was it like working on Hung ?
Well, we shot HUNG 10 minutes from my house. We had great actors come in every week. I loved working with Anne Heche, Jane Adams, and all the beautiful women of HUNG. So it was fun.
Would you consider a role on Game of Thrones?
I've never seen it.
How important was Carlo Siliotto's original soundtrack/score for getting yourself into character as The Punisher/Frank Castle?
Oh! The score wasn't written until after we finished the film. I think that... I listened to Metallica. And also the score to FIRST BLOOD.
Hi Thomas, 61* is one of my all-time favorite baseball movies and I think you really did a phenomenal job capturing the lovable nature of Mickey Mantle and how it collided with his very obvious demons. He strikes me as one of the more tragic figures in baseball despite his overall greatness. I feel like you really drove it home in the scene where Mickey talks about no one in his family making it to old age due to Hodgkin’s (my mother is a two-time survivor of Hodgkin’s).
Did you find Mantle to be a particularly difficult character to capture because of this duality?
Well, it was that duality that attracted me so much to portraying him onscreen. I think that greatness in any endeavor requires a tension between two opposites. And that's one of the things i learned from playing The Mick.
What made you interested in your character in the upcoming expanse series?
Well, the EXPANSE combines 2 of my favorite things: science fiction and film noir. I guess you could call it "future noir." So it's a great character and I'm having a great time shooting it. It should be coming out this summer.
Is Rutger Hauer as scary a real-life father-in-law as he can be on screen?
Rutger's an actor that I hold in the highest regard. I'd like to think that some of his great talent rubbed off on me!
Can you uncover a little from what Expanse will be like?
It takes place on a city built into an asteroid, which is called Ceres. It's the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Almost like a mini-planet. It's crowded, dirty, air and water are at a premium... and mankind has colonies on Mars and a couple of moons spread out around the solar system. It looks like somebody's trying to start a war behind these different colonies.
I’m a big fan thanks for doing this AMA! I have a few questions.
I’ve heard you’re a big comic book fan and even started your own comics company – what do you consider to be the best comic story you’ve ever read?
Also – when fans talk to you about the ending to “The Mist” what is their general reaction?
Lastly, favorite pizza toppings?
That is... a hard question. There's so much great stuff out there. The books that I read were the EC comics - those probably have some of the best writing - Tales from the Crypt, and Frontline Combat, and Shock / Suspense Stories, and Weird Science Fantasy. Books from the 80's would be Black Hole (there are sorta independent comics), anything by Robert Crumb, and if you can find Cornfed Comics by Kim Deitch, those are a real find too.
Most of 'em love the ending. They think it was really ballsy.
Uh...sausage, mushroom, and red onion.
What was it like working on Deep Blue Sea?
Wet. We shot at the newly built studio where they shot the TITANIC, in Mexico. It had the largest water-tank in the world. I got some kind of rash that I still have to put medicine on every once in a while from being in the tank so much. They didn't have filters big enough for a tank that size. One of the highlights was riding the giant, mechanical robot shark. They strapped me into it, and the shark went haywire, and went straight to the bottom of a 50 foot pool.
It wasn't so awesome at the time. I was pretty close to drowning when the shark decided to suddenly come up for air.
It almost did a belly-flop on the edge of the pool!
Do you still have your vegan powers and was there ever a plan for a Punisher video game sequel that you were aware of ?
My "vegan powers" died with the steak that I ate last night. And I was never aware of another Punisher video game.
Hello, Mr. Jane, I'm a huge fan of yours and could probably ask you questions all day, but I'll just go with the obvious one.
What does Ron Perlman smell like?
Well, uh... he used to smell like Hoyo de Nicaragua.
Can you describe Frank Darabont's directing style? What does he do differently?
Frank's just got a great grasp of character. When we shot THE MIST, he had a very popular show on cable, THE SHIELD, so he hired the crew that he worked with on that show, so we shot fast, and in a very improvisational style.
One of my favorite flicks of all time...The Sweetest Thing. I quote it regularly.
What was the most awkward scene to film? And what was the most fun?
Well, all the scenes were awkward. I'm glad you liked the movie. But for me, it was sort of the most out of character... I don't think I'm really good at that kind of film. The hardest scenes were the comedy between me and Cameron Diaz. The easiest scenes were the ones where we had to kiss.
Was Todd Parker's mustache your own? If it was, you need to bring it back. It was so impressive.
THANKS! I have it in a box, in my office.
Yes, it was my own. But my mustache ran away with Jennifer Lopez's merkin.
What was it like working on The Thin Red Line/with Terrence Malick?
Terrence is a sensitive artist. Halfway through shooting our scene, Terrence and John Toll (our director of photograph) ran off to shoot butterflies for about an hour. He just thought they were cool, you know? So with Terry, you never really know what you're going to get or where the scene is going to go, and it keeps it exciting.
Do you like or love Orange Tic Tacs?
I haven't had an orange Tic-Tac since the 7th grade. But, uh...I used to like 'em a lot.
What was it like working with Bruce Willis in VICE? What is the biggest thing you learned working with him?
Well, I learned that Bruce is the guy that you see on the screen.
What I learned: Some people are just born that way.
Has anyone ever pitched you a movie idea where you and Aaron Eckhart play long lost twins separated at birth?
That's funny. The closest we came to that would be the movie THURSDAY.
How was filming in Mobile, Alabama????
The people of Mobile are really receptive, generous, and good-natured. They're not jaded by Hollywood (yet). We were there about 5 weeks for VICE. And we enjoyed it. Everybody had a great time, and the food was great. The strip had a lot of cool bars. It was a good place.
What would be considered your dream role? Or at least type of role?
Oh boy. I'll know it when I see it.
Hey Thomas, I've always been a big fan. If Gun was made into a movie, would you want to play Colton White?
Depends on the script! Why don't you write one?
What's the most fun you've had while making a movie?
Wow, that would be...*61 where I played Mickey Mantle. I learned how to play baseball with Reggie Smith, I hung out on set everyday with Billy Crystal, and we basically played baseball and made a movie every day, all day. I don't think that can be beaten.
What's the last book you have read and can you recommend it?
Well, lemme see...looking around here at my books, seeing which one... okay, THE LEAST OF MY SCARS by Stephen Graham Jones. THE HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES by Dashiell Hammett. CIVILIZATIONS BEYOND EARTH by Douglas a. Vakoch and Albert a. Harrison.
I'd recommend all of them.
I've got other ones. Do you want other ones too?
VIRAL MYTHOLOGY by Marie Jones and Larry Flaxman.
Good Afternoon! What is your Favorite Horror Movie? if you were in a similar scenerio, would you survive?
Well, my favorite horror film, jeez, that would have to be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I don't think anybody, uh, made it out of that one completely intact.
How happy/nervous were you about being cast as Ray in Hung... you know... being all naked?
Hahaha! Well... it's just part of the job, you know. When you rent out an actor, you should have access to all of him / her. You're renting out the whole package, haha!
Should I get on with the work I'm supposed to be doing, go and snuggle up on the couch with my miserable man or carry on being pleasantly distracted by this?
Pleasant distraction is the spice of life.
What is your favorite flavour of ice cream?
What is your favorite bread to drive? Wheat? White?
What would be the title of your autobiography (or memoir)?
Oh man. "No one here gets out alive." But that one's taken.