Just before Solo: some of my favorite Woody Harrelson films
Ok… Who doesn’t love Woody Harrelson? The veteran actor will be starring in Solo-A Star Wars movie and in Venom this year, but I want to you to a trip down memory lane and remind you of some of Woody’s best movies prior Solo and Venom.
Folks form the 80’s know him as Woody Boyd, the lovable dimwitted bartender in Cheers, and the Millennials know him from everything. Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Haymitch Abernathy in Hunger Games franchise and of course Martin “Marty” Hart in True Detective.
But what are his best movies leading up to Solo and Venom? He’s got plenty since he’s worked with almost everybody in Hollywood (especially with Matthew McConaughey) and it was really hard for me to decide. But here are some of my picks.
Hope you like them.
Doc Hollywood (1991)
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner, Barnard Hughes…
Fun fact about the film: Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1990 not long before the filming of this movie began, when he noticed a small, but persistent, tremor in his left pinky finger.
Indecent Proposal (1993)
Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson…
Fun fact about the film: Director Adrian Lyne was originally dismissive of casting Woody Harrelson as David, but changed his mind after watching White Men Can’t Jump (1992). Harrelson said in one interview that doing love scenes with Demi Moore was uncomfortable because he was good friends with Moore’s then-husband, Bruce Willis.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore…
Fun fact about the film: According to Oliver Stone, Rodney Dangerfield didn’t understand the film during shooting, and didn’t understand what Stone was trying to do by shooting such a dark subject, as a father molesting his daughter, in the style of a 1950s sitcom. As such, he found it very difficult to perform his part. However, Stone was delighted that when the film came out, Dangerfield’s performance was hailed as one of the movie’s strongest points.
The Cowboy Way (1994)
Director: Gregg Champion
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kiefer Sutherland, Dylan McDermott…
Fun fact about the film: Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson had previously costarred in White Men Can’t Jump (1992) and Wildcats (1986).
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton…
Fun fact about the film: Despite being portrayed in an Oscar nominated movie, Larry Flynt was refused an invitation to the 1997 Academy Awards, so Woody Harrelson brought Flynt to the award shows as his “+1”.
Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Stephen Dillane, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei…
Fun fact about the film: Actor Woody Harrelson has appeared in such American politics movies / politically themed pictures as LBJ (2016), where he plays the title nick-name character of former Democrat American President Lyndon Johnson, Game Change (2012), Barry Levinson’s political satire Wag the Dog (1997), Battle in Seattle (2007), and Welcome to Sarajevo (1997). The following year after LBJ (2016), Harrelson played the title character in _Wilson (2017), but this was not former Democrat American President ‘Woodrow Wilson.
North Country (2005)
Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner, Frances McDormand…
Fun fact about the film: Josey Aimes is based on Lois Jenson, who started working in the mines in 1975 and endured thirteen years of harassment, before filing her first lawsuit. Jenson v. Eveleth Mines was settled in 1998, ten years after it was first filed, and over twenty years after the harassment began.
The Walker (2007)
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall…
Fun fact about the film: Paul Schrader told HX magazine that Woody Harrelson refused to do any publicity for this movie because he was dissatisfied with his own performance in it.
The Messenger (2009)
Director: Oren Moverman
Stars: Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson…
Fun fact about the film: The scene where Will and Olivia speak to each other in her kitchen is eight minutes long and was shot in one take. Oren Moverman allowed actors to improvise in certain scenes.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth…
Fun fact about the film: Woody Harrelson is a vegetarian in real life. In scenes where Haymitch is seen eating, he eats either dessert or vegetables, or just drinks.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Stars: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell….
Fun fact about the film: The two actors (Michael Pitt and Michael Stuhlbarg) that play the gangster-like characters from the beginning, Larry and Tommy, also have parts on the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire (2010), which is also gangster-related.
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn…
Fun fact about the film: While promoting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Andy Serkis was asked if the AlZ-113 drug had also affected apes outside of Caesar’s tribe. Director Matt Reeves and co-writer Mark Bomback took note of this, which led to the introduction of “Bad Ape” in this film.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Director: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell…
Fun fact about the film: Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Zeljko Ivanek and Woody Harrelson had worked with Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012).