Woody Harrelson stars in the recent conman movie, “Seven Psychopaths,” as a crime lord who wants to find the men who stole his beloved dog. However, unlike many movies with crime lords, Harrelson reinvented his character to be a very unique, interesting creation. He is deadly, and will kill anyone at the blink of an eye, but seems to be overly emotional, especially when considering the safety of his poor dog.
With this fun, quirky character, here is a look at the many faces of Woody Harrelson throughout his career.
“White Men Can’t Jump” – Harrelson started his career on the TV show “Cheers,” playing a dopey corn-fed country boy. When he made his jump to the big screen, one of his earliest roles created an offshoot of that stereotype. In “White Men Can’t Jump,” Harrelson plays a street basketball hustler who teams up with Wesley Snipes arrogant street-baller, as they try to take on all comers.
“Indecent Proposal” – Next up, he took on a similar small-town role as a married man who heads to Vegas with his wife (Demi Moore) in hopes of winning enough money to start his own business. While there, a rich man (Robert Redford) offers them $1 million to allow him to sleep with his wife and they accept. This causes the couple’s relationship to strain as jealousy and insecurity rises.
“Natural Born Killers” – After two movies with Harrelson playing a dishonest, yet relatively good guy, he jumps off the cliff in “Natural Born Killers.” In this Oliver Stone movie, he plays Mickey Knox, a serial killer who murders his future wife’s family and the two of them go on a murderous rampage across America, somehow becoming pop culture icons. It is a brilliant look at a damaged America and Harrelson is engaging as the psychopathic mass murderer.
“The People vs. Larry Flynt” – From violence to sex, Harrelson next portrayed a real-life character as Larry Flynt, the man who created the pornographic magazine “Hustler.” He embodied the iconic figure and impressed critics everywhere, earning a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for the portrayal.
“Kingpin” – Harrelson lightened up a bit after that and turned to comedy for “Kingpin.” In this movie, he plays a former professional bowler whose career ends when mobsters destroy his bowling hand after he fails to pay on a bet. The movie is played for laughs and Harrelson proves that he is still as funny as he was when he starred on “Cheers.”
“The Messenger” – Almost a decade later, Harrelson suddenly became recognized for his acting talent once again. In 2009, he starred in “The Messenger” as an Army captain whose job is to inform families when their loved ones die in the war. It was easily the best performance of his career, and with his second Oscar nomination, Harrelson had reinvented himself as a serious actor.
“Rampart” – After another comedy turn in “Zombieland,” Harrelson once again knocked one out of the park with “Rampart,” based on the true story of crooked cops in Los Angeles. Playing one of the bad cops, he earned more nominations, this time for the Independent Spirit Awards and Satellite Awards. His new success makes his lighter, fun roles, such as the one from “Seven Psychopaths,” ever more enjoyable to watch.