Billy Bob Thornton's Band Blames Flu For Canceled Canada Dates

Boxmasters shelf gigs in wake of actor's bizarre interview.

It's been a rough week for actor [movieperson id="62326"]Billy Bob Thornton[/movieperson] and his band, the Boxmasters. First Thornton became an unwitting Internet viral star when video of a contentious interview he gave to a Canadian journalist blew up last Wednesday.

Then the Boxmasters were reportedly greeted with loud boos and shouts of "here comes the gravy" on Thursday night in Toronto, when unruly fans showed their displeasure with Thornton's comments that Canadian audiences were reserved and that they were "mashed potatoes with no gravy."

Finally, over the weekend Thornton and the group were forced to cancel their remaining scheduled dates opening up for Willie Nelson in Canada when, according to the band's official Web site, "one of the band members and several of the crew" suddenly fell ill with the flu.

Though the eccentric, acclaimed actor/director/screenwriter/musician — who has released eight albums between his five solo efforts and three double-CD sets from the Boxmasters — and his band missed shows in Montreal and London, Ontario, Thornton's publicist told CNN they should be able to rejoin the tour on Tuesday, when it returns to the United States for a gig in Stamford, Connecticut. The news that the band would not be performing at Nelson's Friday night gig in Montreal was reportedly greeted with loud applause.

After getting booed during the Massey Hall show on Thursday night, Thornton told the crowd, "It seems as if when I say something it's in the news," adding, "Boo all you want, but I want to say something — we're really happy to be here, but I need to say something. I talked to this a--hole yesterday."

In addition to insulting CBC Radio interviewer Jian Ghomeshi, Thornton reportedly tried to explain that the "gravy" reference was meant to describe Ghomeshi, not Canadian music audiences.