It’s a sunny afternoon in rural Texas and, for today at least, isolation suits Caleb Landry Jones just fine.
The actor and musician is out on his parents’ farm, watching a flock of sheep mill around some old iron bars that jut out of the dirt like erupting molars.
“I hate boasting, but it’s pretty nice,” the 30-year-old drawls languidly into his trusty flip phone. “If it wasn’t lockdown, I wouldn’t be doing too much different. When I’m on the farm I don’t go to town much, except to get some cigarettes and heavy whipping cream.” With a shopping list like that, Jones shouldn’t have much trouble keeping his social distance.
Life on the farm moves pretty slow, especially when you consider that Jones is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars. His first screen appearance came when he was 16, playing the boy on a bike in the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men (2007) who greets Javier Bardem’s terrifying hitman with the memorable line: “Mister, you got a bone sticking out of your arm!”
A bit part in Breaking Bad (as Walt Junior’s best mate) and a role as Banshee in X‑Men: First Class (2011) followed. But his real breakthrough came in 2017 with roles as the sinister, lacrosse stick-wielding brother in Jordan Peele’s landmark horror allegory Get Out and as the ill-fated billboard agent in the multiple-award-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
But now, with directors falling over themselves to cast him, he’s taken the left turn of putting out a strange, hypnotic psych record. The Mother Stone is the first album Jones has released, but in truth he’s been making music as long as he’s been acting. By his count, his catalogue of unreleased songs numbers some 700.
He says he isn’t sure which impulse came first. “I knew I liked being on a stage at a very young age. I was banging on pots and pans at the same time I was doing ballet recitals.”