At last night’s premiere of 2 Guns, we got to talking to Bill Paxton about guns. The conversation got awesomely entertaining, and a little bit weird — as they often do with Bill Paxton — and so we’re excerpting it for your enjoyment, here:
As a Texan, what was your first experience with guns?
Oh, with guns? I grew up with air rifles and BB guns. But I was never a hunter. I mean, come on, how many innocent people have to die? But the movie is called 2 Guns and that’s a classic. It’s a modern Western. It’s about honor; these guys end up being the only honorable people, even though all these so-called men, who work with these so-called honorable — the military, the government … The other thing the movie has done for me is all the violence in Mexico, in America, over drugs: They should legalize drugs and figure it out. Tax it, create jobs, create programs. I mean, come on. Prohibition didn’t work; the drug wars is a joke. But the movie is kind of a cartoon, really.
You yourself on the set of this movie: Were you comfortable shooting guns? You don’t miss any shots?
No, of course not. Because I’m not shooting anything.
But you’re comfortable shooting?
Well, I’ve been in a lot of films. And a lot of films have guns in them, so. But I’ll give you a pointer: If you’re in a movie and you have to shoot a gun, a real round, in a revolver, or pistol, or rifle, for that matter, there’s a lot of shock you have to take into your hand when that thing goes off. But the blanks don’t give you any recoil, so you’ve got to sell the recoil, and a lot of times when I watch movies and I see a girl shooting a gun, or a guy shoot a gun, and they are going boom, boom, boom. Have you ever shot a gun?
No. I haven’t.
Those guns we had in the movie — I mean, first of all, it deafens you. But I’m not some macho gun guy. You know what guns are? Guns are an extension of the penis. And that’s why guys like to play with them, because they like to play with their penises. And they shoot off, and all that. I mean Freud, you know, would have had a field day with all this gun stuff.
I think that’s also why they like sports.
I don’t know. Why guys like sports?
I think it’s all the same.
It’s an extension of their penis? I don’t think so. I think athletics is about physical prowess, and I don’t think that’s necessarily sexual. Although, you know, the stronger species usually gets the female, and the female goes for that, too, even though she doesn’t know it, because she’s been hard-wired to want to have a strong sire for the calf.
It all comes back to Texas.
[Laughs.] Where are you from?
I was born in Austin.