by Seth Kushner
WOODY HARRELSON - Actor and Activist
One of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, Academy
Award nominated actor Woody Harrelson has long considered
his work on behalf of the environment to be as important
to him as his ever- burgeoning film career. In the summer
of 2001, Harrelson created and took part in the SOL (Simple
Organic Living) Tour, a spiritual and physical journey
that had him and several other participants cycling from
Seattle to Santa Barbara. Along the way, he stopped and
spoke at college campuses, sharing his views on the importance
of striking a balance between economic growth and ecological
sanity. Film director Ron Mann’s road documentary
GO FURTHER, which chronicles this journey, will be released
nationwide in the Fall of 2004.
Long known as one of the country’s most vocal supporters
of the environment, Harrelson generated international headlines
when he planted hemp seeds in the state of Kentucky to
challenge the states laws restricting the use of the plant
that can be used as a valuable fuel, fiber and paper alternative.
By actively challenging the state to differentiate between
hemp and marijuana, he was arrested, tried and acquitted,
while generating much national discussion about the issue.
He continues to work on animal rights issues, sustainability,
and promoting healthy alternatives to the current cycle
of consumer led environmental degradation. He has also
long been a supporter in the fight to save Headwaters Forests – America’s
last stand of unprotected old growth redwoods.
Harrelson also continues to act. He is one of a select
group of actors that have triumphantly made the transition
from the small screen to motion pictures. The actor first
endeared himself to millions of viewers as a member of
the ensemble cast of NBC’s long-running hit comedy,
CHEERS. For his work as the affable bartender Woody Boyd,
Harrelson won an Emmy in 1988 and was nominated four additional
times during his eight-year run on the show.
Harrelson won Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen
Actors Guild Nominations as Best Actor for his critically-acclaimed
portrayal of controversial magazine publisher Larry Flynt
in Milos Forman's drama, THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT. Other
films include PLAY IT TO THE BONE, THE THIN RED LINE, THE
HI-LO COUNTY, ED TV, WAG THE DOG, WELCOME TO SARAJEVO,
KINGPIN, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, INDECENT PROPOSAL and WHITE
MEN CAN’T JUMP.
Harrelson next stars opposite Pierce Brosnan and Salma
Hayek in Brett Ratner’s AFTER THE SUNSET, due out
November 12, 2004. He recently wrapped filming on director
Mark Mylod's THE BIG WHITE, with Robin Williams and Holly
Hunter, and Richard Linklater's A SCANNER DARKLY, with
Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey, Jr. and Winona Ryder. He is
currently filming THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE OHIO with
Julianne Moore for director Jane Anderson.
In addition to film and television, Harrelson has made
his mark in the world of theater as well. Beginning in
1999, Harrelson revived his commitment to return to the
theatre by directing his own play, FURTHEST FROM THE SUN,
at the Theatre de la Juene Lune in Minneapolis. He followed
next with the Roundabout's Broadway revival of the N. Richard
Nash play THE RAINMAKER in 2000, Sam Sheperd's THE LATE
HENRY MOSS in 2001, John Kolvenbach's ON AN AVERAGE DAY
opposite Kyle MacLachlan in London's West End in the fall
of 2002, and in the summer of 2003 Harrelson directed the
Toronto premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's THIS IS OUR YOUTH
at the Berkeley Street Theatre.