Woody Harrelson: So You Think You Want Fame and Fortune?
Like a good bartender, which he plays on the hit TV series "Cheers," Woody Harrelson knows how to work a room. During a lengthy late night photo session after a day's rehearsal with Glenn Close and Laura Dern for the play "Brooklyn Laundry," Harrelson passes the time by singing Beatles songs and cracking jokes with visitors: "I wish I hadn't taken LSD before this shooting!" he says with a laugh.
At 30, the affable actor is trying his luck at making big-screen movies... again. Engagingly casual about how he found his way into Brian De Palma's bomb Casualties of War ("I was visiting Michael J. Fox on location when the producer saw me by the hotel pool and told me I had a weird look that would fit the movie"), Harrelson feigns forgetfulness when Steve Martin's movie L.A. Story is mentioned ("I don't even remember what I did in the picture"). He manages to sound a somewhat more enthusiastic note about co-starring with pal Fox in the upcoming comedy Doc Hollywood.
"I was thrilled to do Doc Hollywood because it's a funny film with a valid theme about the values of small towns versus big city life," says Harrelson. "However, speaking of values, I find I've changed--it's just not as important to me anymore to become a movie star." Why not? "I know so many movie stars," he says, "and it doesn't seem to up the quality of their lives.
"It's hard to believe at first," he continues, "but there really are drawbacks to becoming well-known. When it comes to dating women, for example, celebrity counts for too much in Hollywood. I haven't been dating lately, because the interest for me is no longer purely sexual."
One almost wants to grab for Harrelson's pulse, maybe even call a doctor. After all, this is not just a man who has had public romances with actresses from Carol Kane to Brooke Shields--this is a man who has often gone out of his way during interviews to spell out just how important sex is to him. "I haven't lost my sexuality," he hastens to explain. "I'm just much more into the mind and the spirit now instead of just the body." He sighs, then adds, "Ask me again in a month or two, when the girls come out on the beach. Let's just say I haven't braved the summer yet with this new philosophy."