IndieWire caught up with Woody Harrelson at the BFI London Film Festival where he participated in a screen talk, where actors and directors sit in front of an audience and discuss their careers, and we are glad Woody did! Here are some highlights!
1. Jerry Lewis is his hero. When asked if he had any screen heroes, Harrelson had only one answer. “Jerry Lewis,” he replied. “Um… yep. That’s it.”
2. He’s not a good waiter. “I couldn’t really keep a job,” he said of his pre-“Cheers” days in the early 1980s. “I had trouble with authority. They’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, someone threw up on table six. Go clean it up.’ And I’d be like ‘you clean it up.’ So I couldn’t keep a job very well. That was difficult. Being broke in New York is not always the best way to spend time in that city.”
3. He initially didn’t want to audition for “Cheers.” “I hasn’t seen the show,” he said. “And I really had this highfalutin concept that I was not going to do television. My agent was like, ‘We’re gonna send you to this audition for this show.’ And I said, ‘You don’t need to send me, I’m not going to do television.’ But they said, ‘You might want to do this one, this is a helluva show.’ Then I watched a couple episodes and realized it really was good and that I’d at least go to the audition.”
4. His advice to struggling actors? Make a snotty entrance. “There’s probably some actors here, right?” he asked. “Well, this is a good thing to do. And I didn’t do it on purpose. But at the time [of auditioning for “Cheers”] I was still in love with dairy so I was quite mucousy. So I’m following the casting director and she’s taking me into the room with all the big guys: Jim Burrows and the Charles brothers. But I don’t realize this because we’re walking through a series of doors. And I’m blowing my nose as she opens the door to the room all these guys are in. They just burst out laughing. And Jim Burrows said later, ‘I knew you had the part right then.’”
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