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Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Fox All-Star Party on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Billy Bob Thornton said actors who want to work on sophisticated projects are finding them in television and not film.

He's proving the point with a starring role in the upcoming FX series "Fargo," inspired by the 1996 Joel and Ethan Coen movie.

Thornton told a Television Critics Association meeting Tuesday that while Hollywood studios churn out action movies, broad comedies and "movies where apparently vampires are all models," TV offers the kind of insightful work once common in films.

He says that's why peers like Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid and Kevin Bacon have turned to television.

"The entertainment business can pretend all they want, but the movie world has changed drastically, particularly in the last five or six years," said Thornton, who won a best-screenplay Oscar for "Sling Blade" and was nominated for his role in the 1996 film.

"If you want to be an actor, get on a really good series in television because there's where it's at," said Thornton, whose neatly groomed hair contrasted with striped pants decorated with buttons, embellished cowboy boots and a sleeveless black T-shirt that showed numerous arm tattoos.

"Fargo" also stars Martin Freeman of "Sherlock" and the "Hobbit" films. It debuts in April on FX.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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