Actors’ Spotlight #69: Woody Harrelson

Woodrow Tracy “Woody” Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor, activist and playwright. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and has won one Emmy Award out of seven nominations. His breakout role came in 1985, joining the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd, for which he earned five Emmy Award nominations (one win). Some notable film characters include basketball hustler Billy Hoyle in White Men Can’t Jump, one-handed bowler Roy Munson in Kingpin, Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games film series, Pepper Lewis in The Cowboy Way, Tallahassee in Zombieland, serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, magazine publisher Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, country singer Dusty in A Prairie Home Companion, and magician/mentalist Merritt McKinney in Now You See Me. He will be portraying the Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes.

For The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger, Harrelson earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. In 2014, he starred as Detective Martin Hart in the first season of the HBO crime drama True Detective with Matthew McConaughey, which earned him and McConaughey nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Who would’ve ever guessed that somebody who can play a loveable goofball bartender in Woody Boyd on Cheers would go on to become such a badass actor with some pretty damn good roles in the past. In fact, let’s begin by taking a look at the 5 best Woody Harrelson movies:

5. Wag The Dog

This movie works because of just how realistic that it ended up becoming in later years, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro work incredibly well off each other, David Mamet does a great job co-writing the script, Barry Levinson does the direction really well here.

4. Kingpin

A movie that’s just as funny as Dumb & Dumber and one of the Farrelly Brothers’ really great masterpieces of comedy.

3. White Men Can’t Jump

A really great turn on the sports comedy genre with Harrelson working well with Wesley Snipes as well as Rosie Perez.

2. Natural Born Killers

A great Oliver Stone underrated movie with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis leading an all-star cast in one of the funniest and most insane over the top action movies ever made.

and the #1 best Woody Harrelson movie is…

Zombieland

A fresh approach to the zombie comedy genre not seen since Shaun Of The Dead with Harrelson working off of Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin in one of the slickest and funniest horror comedies ever made.

But even somebody as awesome as Woody Harrelson can star in some pretty bad movies too, these are 5 of him at his worst:

5. Free Birds

You could’ve actually had a decent Thanksgiving movie with this, it was animated nicely, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson have some funny chemistry but the story is what ruins this from being any good.

4. Defendor

A concept that was done better two years later with Super in 2011.

3. Surfer, Dude

A comedy concept that should’ve been much better than it actually was, this whole movie was nothing but “hey, let’s make Matthew McConaughey stoner jokes.”

2. Money Train

It worked so well to have Harrelson and Wesley Snipes team up in White Men Can’t Jump, why not make it work with Money Train? Oh, that’s right, the movie was nothing but a Lethal Weapon retread and a lame one.

and the #1 worst Woody Harrelson movie is…

2012

Woody Harrelson being wasted on a really shitty Roland Emmerich disaster flick, not his fault, he tried his best but the whole movie is just a jumbled mess.

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