Billy Bob Thornton has opened up about his abusive youth, insisting reports of heavy-handed parenting that are getting celebrities into trouble today were commonplace in his community.

The actor grew up among a family of "sawmill workers and tough guys" in Arkansas and admits he received daily beatings from his father, who was a local high school sports teacher.

The Oscar winner has been watching the recent news items about National Football League star Adrian Peterson and his alleged treatment of his kids with interest - because he received much worse.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "There's a thing in the news right now about an Nfl player who took a switch to his kid and there's a lot of trouble over that right now, and it's so bizarre, you know, watching that. I mean I can't imagine laying a finger on my kids. I go the other way, probably because my father was so abusive.

"But, in terms of the switching, I mean I got it daily... There are a few things that I grew up with that you guys will never have to go through and maybe you have gone through it, I don't know, but one of them is not only did you get beat up at home if you had a dad like mine, and that was standard issue... This wasn't, like, my dad in particular was an a**, I mean this was like everybody's dad.

"If you were over at somebody else's house and you did something wrong their dad may beat your a**. I mean it was crazy. And we got whipped at school. I always got whipped at school because they gave you a choice; you could get 10 licks with whatever implement that teacher preferred or you could be suspended for three days. I would always pick the licking because if I got suspended what I would get from my dad was so much worse than what they gave you at school."