Woody Harrelson’s hustling days can be dated all the way back to the 90’s film “White Men Can’t Jump.” So it’s no surprise he was cast as a scoundrel in the new Star Wars film. During the sit-down, he shares details on why he turned down the role originally, his thoughts on Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, plus we school him on life hacks! Find out more in this exclusive Woody Harrelson SOLO: A Star Wars Story interview!
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Woody Harrelson of SOLO: A Star Wars Story
Woody walks in the room with this laid-back, casual swagger about him. He grins that infamous smile at us and immediately points out that this room full of bloggers looks a little suspicious. I proceed to ask him the first question, but he wanted answers! “Do you see what looks different?” The whole room breaks out in laughter. Woody is referring to the lonely male blogger in a sea of ladies. “I want your job. It must be so fun,” he says.
He follows with, “I’m sorry the question. What drew me to the part?”
“So I was in London and I was shooting, I did this movie “Lost in London” which I wrote and directed and I did that just before. And then I was gonna go home and then they were like well, we want you to meet these guys Phil and Chris about doing this movie.” He shared how he agreed to meet, although he knew his family was really eager for him to return home, and initially, he turned down the role just like he did for “Hunger Games.” Adding, “[and] Producer Ali Schermer who’s an incredible lady who unfortunately passed shortly after we finished shooting, would not take no for an answer the first time and luckily, she didn’t take no the second time.” Woody said the initial decision to turn it down was solely because he wanted to take time off with the family, but he plans to right after completing his press tour for SOLO.
What do you want your legacy to be?
“It sounds like I’m dead!” He goes on to say,”well, I hope just generally, it’s a smiling type of legacy instead of a frowning type. I do prefer Comedy and I’ve gotten into a little bit of a Drama bubble. I would like to kind of make people laugh and hopefully, they’ll think of me and laugh.”
What is it about this character (Tobias Beckett) that sets it apart from any other character you’ve portrayed?
“I wouldn’t say that far distant. I have played other scoundrels and thieves and criminals before so but none in space.”
Do you remember the first time you saw Star Wars?
“Yeah, I remember it cause you probably won’t believe this but I was alive in 1977, but it was a huge thing at the time like everybody was all about Star Wars. It became a sensation.”
We loved that you’re such a tough love mentor in your role. In real life, who has been that kind of tough love kind of mentor that you had?
“I feel like to some degree, Jack Nicholson. He lives not far from where I have a place here in LA (his main home is in Maui) and I would go over quite a bit to his place and sit and reason, and talk story, and he did, he’s given a lot of cool advice.”
I’d like to know if there is a secret to your smile. Is that a real Woody Harrelson life hack?
“Life hack?” he asks. “Well, thank you for saying that. I do feel like a pretty genuinely happy person. And I think part of it, a big part of it is just gratitude. I’m very grateful for the life I have. I feel like all of us who do movies and probably all of you write about movies, we’re breathing a bit of a rarified air. And I feel really lucky because there was a point in which I kind of gave up and it was early on. I hadn’t even got a job yet and I just was like, I think I can’t do it. And I don’t know how to crack it. And so yeah gratitude…..Life hack.”
How did you like working with Alden?
“Love Alden, love him, awesome guy. Really hard worker. I mean, very hard worker, cause we’d have these little rooms and he was next to me and he’d be in there like taking piano lessons. He’d be in there reading novels. I’m over there playing Speed Chess online. “Like what the hell!”” He also mentioned, “I really admire his work ethic and I think just the way he cultivates himself as a human, he’s an extraordinary guy. He’s not just like a silly dopey party animal like some Actors coming up or like I was coming up.”
If you could be any character from the original Star Wars Trilogy, who would it have been?
“I would want to be Solo, man. But it was written really well obviously. Lucas created these great characters but what Harrison brought to it and now what Alden is bringing to it is making that character just so special, so fun, and funny. So yeah.”
Woody Harrelson is just the nicest guy. He was so fun and easy to talk to. Each time we asked a question, he took time to really think before he spoke. It was definitely a fun experience, and I hope you enjoyed hearing more about Woody Harrelson in SOLO!
SOLO: A Star Wars Story is officially in theaters today!
Check out this special scoundrels featurette below: