Podcast: Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson (Getty Images)

ZFF Masters: Woody Harrelson (2016)

Whether in mainstream or independent film, Woody Harrelson’s charismatic acting talent has the power to impress both critics and viewers alike. Born in Texas in 1961, Harrelson first captured the world’s attention in the U.S. American sitcom CHEERS. He garnered his first Academy Award nomination for his role as Hustler founder Larry Flynt in Miloš Forman’s film THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT (1997). Harrelson’s unmistakeable acting style, such as can be seen in his role as the alcoholic mentor in the hit series THE HUNGER GAMES, or as the failing detective in the HBO series TRUE DETECTIVE (2014), remains deeply embedded in the minds of those who see him. Harrelson excels in his role as US President Johnson in the biopic LBJ, which screened as ZFF Gala Premiere.

Hosted by Wendy Mitchell
Language: English
Duration: 64 minutes

Listen on iTunes or Spotify.

Show Notes

  • Woody Harrelson humorously muses about the beginning of his career, where he was unable to get an agent until he finally caught a break getting his first job for a Neil Simon play in New York. [02:30]
  • The advent of his first fame with CHEERS and the simultaneous difficulty of getting past the Woody Boyd stereotype, eventually getting another job through his friend Michael J. Fox in DOC HOLLYWOOD. The hilarious story of that audition. [15:18]
  • Other breakthrough films like WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP or NATURAL BORN KILLERS, including a funny anecdote about working with Oliver Stone on the latter. [18:37]
  • The most incredible tale of how Woody went on vacation with Larry Flynt to prepare for his role as the eponymous character in Milos Forman’s THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT – a performance for which he gained an Academy Award nomination. [21:48]
  • Working for a big franchise like THE HUNGER GAMES, a part which he actually turned down twice before signing on. [28:50]
  • Rob Reiner’s ZFF European Premiere LBJ and the insecurities Woody encountered while trying to recreate President Johnson’s accent. [32:49]
  • His propensity for going off script and the impossibility of doing that for his films with Martin McDonagh – SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – or the Coen brothers, with whom he worked on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. [43:56]
  • Woody’s favorite Rob Reiner movies and their subsequent collaboration after LBJ, namely SHOCK AND AWE. [52:12]
  • Ending philosophically on what keeps Woody Harrelson going every day. [01:00:00]