Eccentric actor Billy Bob Thornton had a nightmare experience shooting his upcoming movie CHRYSTAL in his home state of Arkansas - because he had to face bugs and antiques.

The MONSTER'S BALL star, who counts orange food and silver cutlery among his bizarre list of strict phobias, had a terrible time dealing with the creepy-crawlies when he filmed in the southern territory.

He says, "I still have scars on my legs from chiggers. I'd forgotten what it's like down there. Got a couple of ticks too."

But being surrounded by antiques in the town of Eureka Springs - which prides itself on its well preserved Victorian architecture - proved even more terrifying for Billy Bob.

He says, "There were places I couldn't eat or breathe. But I rented a more modern house."

Still, there was one huge advantage to Billy Bob's southern suffering - he was close enough to his mother for frequent visits.

He adds, "It was great. Mom doesn't come to sets very often."

15/10/2003 13:41