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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

When Tommy Lee Jones met Jim Garrison...

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

This is an excerpt from an interview with Tommy Lee Jones in Film Comment Magazine from Jan-Feb 1994.

I find this interview astounding. Jones meets Garrison and says "He opened the first meeting by assuring me he could tell me more about Shaw than Shaw's mother ever knew." Really? For God's sake, Garrison believed Shaw conspired to kill JFK!

It gets worse - "These guys, especially Ferrie [Joe Pesci] were also fascists, in love with the idea of fascism." This is pure slander - Shaw was not, in any way, a fascist. Neither was David Ferrie. Then, Jones says that "Garrison's idea was that his whole life was a sham, and that all of his aloofness, snobbishness, and elegance was utter pretense. I had no idea whether it was true or not. The movie was from Jim's point of view. So, I'm playing Jim Garrison's Clay Shaw via Oliver Stone's Jim Garrison."

Let that sink in - "Jim Garrison's Clay Shaw via Oliver Stone's Jim Garrison."

David Ehrenstein wrote in The Advocate, a gay magazine, that "all Stone has to do is show a sinister Jones groping sleazy tootsie Bacon and acting simperingly haughty toward true-blue hetero Costner and you know who "really" killed Kennedy."

Jones added that Shaw was a "deeply corrupt guy, according to he's led a dishonest life, and I imagine toward the end of it it started to catch up with him."

This is deeply offensive. While Clay Shaw was in the closet, he led his life with grace and dignity. It's no wonder there is a plaque honoring Shaw in New Orleans - while there are no public monuments dedicated to Jim Garrison.


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