I just learned this morning that Woody Harrelson is in talks to star in a new drama series for HBO entitled True Detective, along with Matthew McConaughey. Now, I am, and always have been, a fan of Woody’s (who didn’t fall in love with him from the moment he walked into the bar on Cheers?) And having just recently watched HBO’s critically acclaimed Game Change, in which he brilliantly plays Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s senior campaign strategist and advisor, I was reminded of how big a fan I truly am.
Woody is one of those huge talents who manages to keep a low profile, no matter how many impressive performances he delivers. What amazes me most about him is his ability to, from one project to the next, fluidly morph into characters that could not be more different from one another. I’ll never forget seeing Natural Born Killers in college and wondering how it was possible that sweet little Woody Boyd had turned into such a convincing serial killer without skipping a beat? From then on, I wasn’t surprised to see him take on roles in films ranging from the most inane (Kingpin) to the most bone chilling (No Country For Old Men) bringing to life every character in a way that only a real pro can do. There’s nothing worse than seeing an actor basically play themselves in every role – Woody plays everyone but himself, it seems. Entertainment Weekly recently did a great piece about him that helped paint a better picture of the type of person he really is – humble, honest, down to earth, and a self proclaimed “slacker” – hard to believe for someone who has 72 acting credits, 2 Academy Award nominations, and multiple new projects in development.
Although I have yet to delve into the world of The Hunger Games, there’s no doubt that his participation in the franchise will only further propel his career, if for no other reason than a whole generation of theater-goers who may not have grown up with him are now instant fans, and will undoubtedly be drawn to his other projects as as result. Wise career move, if I may say so myself – keeping himself relevant in the best way possible. Although if you ask me, the guy could play the controversial publisher of a dirty magazine and people would still love him… oh that’s right, he already did. Now that’s talent.
Since I got to know him best in the 90s, voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these notable Woody Harrelson films is your favorite?
Natural Born Killers
White Men Can’t Jump
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