Some of us may remember Tommy Lee Jones as the no-nonsense U.S. Marshall from his Academy Award-winning performance in The Fugitive.
Others may know Jones as the tough and stubborn Captain Woodrow F. Call from the beloved miniseries Lonesome Dove
On screen, Tommy Lee Jones is more likely to portray characters that are steely-eyed and perhaps a bit intimidating.
But his co-star in the Western movie Homesman has a secret.
According to Hilary Swank, Jones is actually a big “softy”.
“He shows what he wants to show to the press or to the world,” said Swank, “[Y]et he comes alive on set in a totally different way.”
Hilary Swank also said that she considers Jones a “visionary” and “artisan”.
Said Swank, “I [was just] a sponge in his presence.”
— nprmusic (@nprmusic) November 22, 2014
When told about Hilary’s comments, Tommy Lee didn’t exactly disagree.
That's not a word that I would use to describe anybody, much less myself,” said Jones “But it sounds positive right?”
Jones then reportedly smiled and said, “All right, I'm a 'softy'. Yeah, I'll accept that.”
Even though Tommy Lee Jones isn’t really the stern, tough guy he comes across as in many of his movies, that doesn’t mean you should underestimate him.
“[Jones] doesn't suffer fools," said Swank. “That's a really good way to say it.”'
— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) November 17, 2014
She added, “"I think his time is precious, [a]nd he just chooses specifically how he wants to spend it."
Tommy Lee Jones is both the director and star of The Homesman, a movie that is described as being in the tradition of True Grit.
In the movie, he plays a claim jumper and mercenary named Brigg who is hired by a plain-faced devout Christian and rancher named Mary (Hilary Swank) to transport three pioneer women who have gone insane back to civilization.
Although the character taps into an image of Tommy Lee Jones that we’ve come to know, at least we have the reassurance that underneath all of it is more or less a rather gentle soul.