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Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson visits Ringling College

The acclaimed actor screened his directorial debut, 'Lost in London,' and answered audience questions on Jan. 29 at Ringling College of Art and Design.

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  • | 12:05 p.m. January 30, 2018
Woody Harrelson said if he had to choose which of his characters' worlds to live in, he would choose the world of "Now You See Me."
Woody Harrelson said if he had to choose which of his characters' worlds to live in, he would choose the world of "Now You See Me."
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Woody Harrelson is an indecisive person.

He can spend multiple minutes deciding whether to wear blue socks or green socks.

But when it came to his directorial debut, he felt “very decisive.”

Harrelson shared this tidbit and many others during his visit to Ringling College of Art and Design on Jan. 29.

Harrelson made an appearance at the college to discuss and screen parts of “Lost in London,” the movie he wrote, directed, produced and starred in.

“Lost in London” is based on Harrelson’s real-life experience during a night gone wrong in London. The 99-minute film was shot live and broadcast to 500 theaters. He shared that the 26 sound technicians said it was the hardest job they’ve worked on, and they were people who have worked on events such as the Olympics. Aside from that, Harrelson found his own challenge in balancing his directorial role with his acting one.

Harrelson said it's hard to choose which movie was the most fun, but
Harrelson said it's hard to choose which movie was the most fun, but "White Men Can't Jump" lent itself to days of playing basketball and "razzing" other cast members.

“Honestly, I think I might have just cast somebody else,” he said. “It’s too much to do all that.”

During a public Q&A session, Harrelson shared insight into what it was like both directing and starring in a movie (difficult), what movie has been the most fun to film (a lot of them) and what he looks for in a script (heart and some juicy details). He also shared that he just read a script for a second "Zombieland," but he isn't sure he should have said that. 

From “Cheers” to “True Detective” and “Zombieland” to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Woody Harrelson has brought nearly 100 characters to life.

“I did almost 100 movies, but imagine how many flops that is,” he jokingly said to the crowd.

Harrelson is currently making headlines for his role as Willoughby in “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri,” a film that follows a mother [Frances McDormand] as she challenges local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder.

The film is nominated for seven Academy Awards. Harrelson is up for one himself as best supporting actor, making this his third Oscar nomination, but Harrelson said he probably wouldn’t have starred in “Three Billboards” had Martin McDonagh, who he calls a true genius, not been the director. He wasn’t sure of what he could have brought to the part.

He admits he’s done some stupid things. He turned down his role as Haymitch Abernathy in the “Hunger Games” trilogy twice, but he knows turning down the role as Willoughby would have been a mistake.

“I think of all the movies I’ve done, maybe you know, the response people have had to this is… it’s incredible. It’s such a powerful journey and you follow Frances (McDormand), you care about her, and Sam (Rockwell) does that magic act of you hate him and then you love him, and you know, all of the characters are so well-formed.”

Harrelson said he hopes to work with McDonagh again. “Three Billboards” was their second venture together following 2012’s “Seven Psychopaths.”

And as for his other future work, Harrelson would love to work with Cate Blanchett (he wishes he had had an opportunity to work with Daniel Day-Lewis) and would direct again. Asked if he has a favorite between acting, directing and writing, he couldn’t pick.

“I find them all fulfilling,” he said. “I really did like this … it started with the writing obviously and that never stopped until the very day we shot. (It still had) all these changes, so it kept shifting, but I like directing.”



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