Sunday, January 22, 2012

His father has been in prison all his life. No hugs there, just a telephone and a view behind glass if any contact. He is Woody Harrelson. We remember Woody as the guy behind the bar on the TV show Cheers. Since then he has played in over 40 films and has taken a stand at many events even getting himself arrested for a cause that he believes in.
Living in Los Angeles he decided to move to a less crazy place to raise his kids. Moved to Costa Rica for awhile but then decided the fruit and veggies were better in Hawaii. Being a committed vegan Maui is the place he lives playing Dominoes with his neighbor Willy Nelson. Not such a bad life.
He is pushing his latest movie ‘Ram Heart” where he gets to play the downward career of a Los Angeles road police cop joined with actress Sigourney Weaver. A chain smoking cop that is as angry as he is paranoid. He thought playing a cop was a stretch for him but remember he also played a Army officer in the 2009 movie called The Messenger. His job in that movie was to notify family members that their soldier had died in action. He believed that the role was tougher than anything else he has done so far.
Woody has been very outspoken in opposition to the war. When he worked with real soldiers and their families he understood the strife. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this movie. He never cried on screen until “The Messenger.” Woody has gone a long way from the young guy just being stupid on Cheers to a serious rich movie actor that has a full career when you consider how the careers went nowhere for some of the actors in that Bar.
Born in Texas he was raised mostly in Ohio and always loved the stage. He got his part on Cheers in 1985 and stayed and won an Emmy till 1993 when the show closed. Being there on that show for six years had him worried that he would have been typecast. But then the movies came and he hasn’t left them yet. His first Oscar nomination came with his starring role in “The People vs. Larry Flynt “ in 1996.
Woody never got fathered in the traditional sense. Charles Harrelson spent most of Woody’s childhood in and out of jail. In the early 80’s he was convicted of the contract killing of a federal judge and sentenced to 2 life terms in prison. He died in prison in 2007. He would like to be able to say they were close but many times there was no contact because the man was in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. For the later years of his life, he was in a super maximum security prison in Colorado.
The actor has had his own brushes with the law but he always has a cause to represent when he gets arrested. In June 1996 he was arrested for planting hemp seeds in Kentucky to bring awareness to hemp sustainability as an industrial crop. He also scaled with roaps and harnesses the Golden Gait Bridge in hopes to save the redwood trees. His activism landed him in court.
Now he spends most of his time earning money from his 40 movies and being a husband to his wife Laura and his three daughters. He feels that he has accomplished being a role model to his kids of what not to do in life. That includes loosing a lot of money gambeling with Country Music legend Willy Nelson next door. The new wing off of Willy’s house is called the Woody Suite. Even in defeat, Woody is a happy man. His leading roles in major movie productions make him feel like a very appreciated man.

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