The 61-year-old actor has won an Oscar, Golden Globe and many other accolades during his career thanks to his performance, directing and writing skills in films like Sling Blade and TV series Fargo. However, the recognition hasn't made a difference to Thornton’s anxiety.

“Believe it or not, once you are... living comfortably, it’s still not that comfortable,” he told craveonline.com. “If you’re as insecure as I am, I don’t ever rest on my laurels. I think everything I do is going to be a failure.

“One thing I will say – and I was saying this to another guy earlier – one thing that Hollywood has taught me after living here this long is that I’ve got real good instincts about what’s going to happen.”

His latest outing on the silver screen sees him reprise his role as Willie Stoke in Bad Santa 2, reuniting with original co-stars Tony Cox and Brett Kelly to rob a children’s charity. Kathy Bates joins the cast too, playing Willie’s conwoman mother Sunny, while Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks plays charity leader Diane.

Quizzed on whether he tried to shock his castmates during production, Thornton admitted it was an impossible feat.

“I think Tony and Brett, for sure, wouldn’t ever be shocked because they had been through it before,” he noted. “And Kathy’s and old pro. She’s been around some shocking things. And Christina seemed to flow right along with everything. So I don’t think there’s much I could have done. If there was a moment where I had shocked them, it was when I was not an a**hole! (laughs)”

Thornton never anticipated his 2003 Bad Santa would become so popular and the cast and crew didn’t even consider making a sequel until fans suggested it. Justifying the 16-year gap, he explained they had to find and perfect the right script before unveiling it to the public.

Bad Santa 2 is in cinemas now.