Celebrity News February 28, 2023
Woody Harrelson Clarifies Comment About Playing Oprah (Exclusive)
Woody Harrelson and his wife Laura Louie made a rare red-carpet appearance with daughters, Deni, 30, and Makani, 16, at the “Champions” premiere in NYC.
“Extra’s” special correspondent and Oprah Daily creative director Adam Glassman was with Woody on the red carpet and had to ask about his recent Oprah comment in a New York Times interview.
Adam said, “I read recently that you're at a point in your career that you can do almost anything. You can even play Oprah. So for me, can you channel Oprah right now interviewing you?”
He answered, “No. I think there was a little joke there… I gotta come clean on that — I can't really do Oprah.”
He can’t do Oprah, but he can do basketball movies.
In “Champions,” he’s a Minor League basketball coach named Marcus, who gets arrested and ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities.
Harrelson explained, “It's a story about the friends who are the basketball team and… it's one of the most unique movies I've ever seen. I saw the original, the Spanish version, which is wonderful. And all I wanted is that if we can get almost as good... which I think we've done. I think we have a helluva movie, really funny, great laughs… All the friends and that story with the friends made me excited to be a part of it.”
Adam asking, “What would you like people to walk away from after this seeing this film?”
He replied, “Sometimes you go to movies and you walk out of there feeling just, ‘Aw, Jesus Christ.’ Well, this one, hopefully, you feel like kinda floaty and feeling extremely happy.”
Glassman said it made him a little teary-eyed, and Woody told him, “That's good if you get a little teary, too.”
Harrelson said the first time he met the team was while the cameras were rolling.
“[Director] Bobby Farrelly, that was his idea. I was a little nervous about it because I didn't know how this scene is going to go? What were going to be the parameters of our ability to get through it and so forth, but luckily, it was no problem.”
He added, “These guys were amazing. I thought they were far more professional than I was.”
Adam pointed out that some weren’t actors when they started the film, but now they are.
Woody said, “That's true. They are all actors now. Several of them had never acted, so it was really great to watch.”
What did the star learn more the film?
“I haven't spent much time with people with disabilities, and so it was a great thing because you think you think to yourself, ‘Oh, you're going to feel sorry for them…’ Your mind goes to a negative thought of what your experience might be,” he said, adding, “Whereas the reality is they're just uplifting being around because they speak the language of the heart. They're always coming from the heart, coming from a place of love. It’s a wonderful way to greet the day with these guys. It was one of my greatest experiences — I love these guys.”
“Champions” opens March 10.