In his latest action thriller, "Eagle Eye," Thornton plays Thomas Morgan, an FBI agent working against the clock to thwart a plot against the government.
Thornton, alongside "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull" actor Shia LaBeouf (who plays Jerry Shaw), embarks on a crazy, unexpected adventure, which Thornton claims is anything but typical.
"That is what is amazing about this movie is you start, at one point, you think it's just going to be the usual oh, here is the government thriller kind of movie or whatever. And this thing grabs a hold of you and just never lets go," Thornton told Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez ."And it builds the whole way, which is a real tribute to the director. He did an amazing job with it."
The scenario in which the film is based is the scary fact that we're always being watched.
"That's one of the reasons that the script intrigued me. It's a subject I had already thought about. I'm not really a techno guy myself. I just got a cell phone about two years ago. And that's no joke. I really did," he admitted. "It's just the invasion of privacy is a real big issue with me. And so that subject really intrigued me."
When he isn't acting, Thornton can be found performing on stage as lead singer of his band the Boxmasters.
Rodriguez showed Thornton a clip of his performance, which she compared to a '60s rock 'n' roll band.
"The whole idea behind the band is we're guys who grew up wanting to be the Beatles like everybody in a band. We were all in bands from the time we were kids and most of us in the band were raised in the south or rural areas so we play hillbilly music, so we married hillbilly music with the British invasion," he said.
Thornton is friends with another Bill from Arkansas - Bill Clinton.
"I've known Bill since I was about 18, I guess. He helped me get a job in my late teens through a friend of his who was friends of my mom. And ever since then, I've always been a big fan of his. But we've known each other over the years. He's a great guy. I love him," he explained.
The job that Clinton hooked him up with wasn't a glamorous job to say the least. Thornton was shoveling asphalt for the highway department.
"And I've actually said to him over the years, I'm not sure if I should thank you for that or not. It's not easy," Thornton said.