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Creator / Tommy Lee Jones

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"As an actor to watch an audience of people howl together in a single mind as a result of work you've done together with friends is a privilege."

Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor and film director from San Saba, Texas. He was little known until his big breaks in the 1990s, where he scored roles in three blockbuster films: The Fugitive, Batman Forever, and Men in Black. He fell off the radar for a few years until his resurgence with No Country for Old Men.

He tends to play snarky, grumpy, and usually very badass characters.

He was also Al Gore's roommate at Harvard. Figure that one out. And in case you've managed to wrap your head around that, according to author Erich Segal (who attended Harvard at the same time), the hero of his novel Love Story was based on a fusion of the two of them.note 

Try not to confuse him with Tom Jones. Or even Tommy Lee.

Roles of Note:

Associated Tropes:

  • The Cast Showoff: He is fluent in Spanish and speaks it in some of his films. invoked
  • The Comically Serious: When cast in comedic roles, he tends to be this (barring Batman Forever).
  • Cool Old Guy: Very effective at playing these, usually grumpy, cynical men who do mean well.
  • Cowboy: In Real Life as well as some of his roles. He owns at least two ranches, one of which was the setting for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, a film he also directed and starred in.
    • He also speaks fluent Spanish, likely due to his being born and raised in West Texas. The scene at the start of Men in Black where he was talking to the immigrants at the Mexican border? Ad-libbed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Practically an artform when he is doing it. No one can get across sarcasm like TLJ.
  • Disapproving Look: Pretty much his default expression. Also known as the "Implied Facepalm". He is the current page image for a reason.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Many of his roles. Very helpful when Played for Laughs.
  • Hidden Depths: He is a graduate of Harvard University and a good friend of Al Gore.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Since nearly every role of his tends to be a grumpy fellow, it's often joked that he's just playing himself.
  • Improv: Famously disliked a good deal of his lines in Men in Black, so about half of K's lines are Jones' ad-libs. It works perfectly for the movie, because J's fresh-faced rookie trying to catch-up is most of the time Will Smith legitimately getting just taken for a ride by Jones, and the director saving the results.
  • Japandering: Played an alien disguised as himself in a series of Boss Coffee ads.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His characters tend to be grumpy, cynical and sarcastic but good and kind underneath it.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Plays these characters quite frequently.
  • Large Ham: His performances in Under Siege and Batman Forever can go ham-to-ham with anybody. It also shows off in a downplayed manner in movies such as The Fugitive, given that in spite of the stoic expression he's prone to shout.
    "Four minutes ahead of schedule. Damn, I'm good."
  • Motor Mouth: Once a lot of his characters get going it's very difficult to get them to stop.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Tends to keep his famous Texas accent, no matter the role and even when playing real-life figures who weren't from there.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Most of his characters rarely smile.
  • Seen It All: Most of his characters tend to have a lot of experience and be jaded against the craziest things that happen, in conjunction with The Comically Serious. He plays the type extremely well.
  • Silent Snarker: To wit
  • Southern-Fried Genius: He keeps his natural Texas accent for most of his roles and he plays a lot of intelligent characters who are very skilled at their work. He's also a real-life example, having attended Harvard.
  • Stock Shout-Out: Variations of the following:
    "What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area."
  • The Stoic: Most of his characters.
  • Younger Than They Look: Has always looked between ten to fifteen years older than he actually is, though nowadays he's starting to look his age. This actually allowed him to be cast in Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood; despite ranging from 12-20 years younger than his three castmates, his character was portrayed in the same age bracket as them.