Tommy Lee Jones Talks 'Lincoln,' Career & Charity


Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's election, these days Tommy Lee Jones stays mum on who got his vote.

The Oscar winner ( No Country for Old Men) did indeed speak at the Democratic National Convention, but that was way back in 2000, when his Harvard roommate (class of '69) Al Gore was running for president.

"I don't involve myself publicly in politics,'' says Jones, from his home state of Texas.

And in his latest movie, Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln, the veteran actor plays a Republican: outspoken Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives who was instrumental in helping Honest Abe abolish slavery. It hits South Florida theaters Nov. 16.

"It's a fine undertaking -- entertaining and educational with a great respect for American history," Jones says of the movie, adding, "But I'm always happy to have a job."

Jones, 66, doesn't seem in dire need of employment. A quick perusal on the International Movie Database shows a staggering 71 titles under his name since 1970 (starting with a minor role in Love Story). Most recently, he played Meryl Streep's husband working through a sexless marriage in Hope Springs and soon audiences can see him as Gen. Douglas MacArthur in another history heavy movie, World War II drama, Emperor.

Jones claims he doesn't know how many movies he's appeared in.

"I don't have the number, but I know I'm always busy. They keep it pretty well organized around here."

What characters does he want to inhabit? There are some requirements: "You look for a good script; a good cast, a capable, well prepared director; a reputable company; the best business deal; and interesting locations that might appeal to my daughter and wife to come visit."

Daughter Victoria Kafka Jones -- with second wife Kimberlea Cloughley, with whom he also has a son, composer Austin Jones -- is a third year acting student at SUNY Purchase in Westchester, N.Y. The 21-year-old appeared with dear old dad in Men in Black II.

Wife, professional polo player Dawn Jones, will be on his arm at Destination Fashion Saturday night to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at Bal Harbour Shops. Other celebrities in attendance: Enrique Iglesias (who will perform), emcee Tom Brokaw, Wayne Newton and Brad Leland ( Friday Night Lights, Veep).

Jones, an honorary chair for the organization, said he gravitated toward the charity naturally.

"We're horse people, a family of polo players,'' says the actor, who has property in Wellington, Fl. "We've had some friends who list to the right or the left, others are confined to wheelchairs and others are dead due to spinal cord injury."

A cowboy at heart, the Coal Miner's Daughter star isn't much for dressy affairs, but Dawn, also a photographer, fancies the tony venue.

"My wife takes more of an interest in shopping than I do. She does most of [it] in New York, Beverly Hills and Paris, but does like to head to the stores in Miami from time to time."

Retirement isn't looking likely for Jones anytime soon.

"I hope I haven't done it all,'' he says. "I've got lots of irons in the fire and pots on the stove."

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