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Old 11-25-2007, 07:52 PM
honda900 honda900 is offline
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Default Celebrity kiteboarder

Just a small little tidbit...In today's NY Times, the actor Woody Harrelson mentioned how he just got into kiteboarding and loves it. To quote him..."it is the greatest sport that I have ever encountered." I couldn't agree more.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:03 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Thanks for the heads up. I had heard a story about Woody tearing things up off the Northshore in Maui a while back. Here's the article you mentioned:

Loves the Beach, the Planet and Movies

Published: November 25, 2007

Associated Press
Mr. Harrelson in the sitcom “Cheers.”
WOODY HARRELSON was late. Not Hollywood, Big Star late, just a few tardy minutes because he couldn’t talk a meter here into giving him more than 15 minutes, and had wasted all his quarters. He had no “people” in tow to park the car. He cadged a few quarters from the folks at the restaurant Juliano’s Raw, left to find a more forgiving parking spot and then returned, plunking quarters down on the table as he sat.

“See, I made money on the deal,” he said, flashing a smile that is both knowing and a little deranged, one that most television viewers first encountered over the bar at “Cheers.”

The recipient of a fairly charmed career, Mr. Harrelson takes none of it for granted. While many actors spend time in interviews rubbing their chins and talking about plumbing the emotional depths of particular roles, he makes moviemaking sound more like a caper from Spanky and Our Gang.

“I love getting together and making something with a bunch of other people,” he said, leaving aside the dire, arduous rhetoric that seems to be the default of many other film actors of some renown.

And he seems to walk his talk. Apart from politics — he is frantic about the environment, the war in Iraq and what he views as the erosion of civil liberties — Mr. Harrelson wears life like a beach towel loosely around the shoulders and grabs what it offers with both hands, including a reporter’s nondairy chocolate shake that was left temporarily unguarded on the table. “Sorry about that,” he said, making it clear he was not one bit sorry as he licked his lips and looked for more. As the chef fluttered about, and Mr. Harrelson made his way through much of the vegan fare on the menu, it became clear that he is a man of significant appetites for almost everything but the darker arts of getting roles and pleasing mass audiences.

Over lunch last month he talked about the flurry of films he made after years of intermittent screen appearances, including “No Country for Old Men,” in which he plays a duped hit man; “The Walker,” in which he is a Truman Capote-inspired fop; and “The Grand,” a comedy that plays out over a poker table. He’s also one of the characters in an on-screen reading of historical material in “Nanking,” a documentary about the so-called rape of Nanking in 1937.

He is back after an extended break, having temporarily lost his ability to laugh at the business after the campaign against “The People vs. Larry Flynt” in 1997. Gloria Steinem had called for a boycott of the film, which starred Mr. Harrelson as the pornographer editor of Hustler.

“That sort of broke my heart,” he said, “because what people were saying really had nothing to do with the work and what it was about. It was just politics.”

What was going to be a short break with his family — his wife, Laura Louie, and their three daughters at his home in Hawaii — became an extended hiatus, give or take some time directing and acting in theater to keep his chops.

“I was going to take a couple of years off, but the next thing you know it was almost five years,” he said. “It happily coincided with a time when I was getting a lot less offers from the studios, but if you are not enjoying this job, then there is something wrong with you. The only thing better than being an actor would probably be being a rock star or something like that.”

Now Mr. Harrelson is in the midst of a rekindled affair. “I love it,” he said of acting in films. “I have never been a big fan of the business of motion pictures, but the process, the work, is really fun if you do it with the right people.”

He has accumulated a stack of important credits almost in spite of himself, something that has made an impression on those who know him. “What else do you say about someone who has life licked, except that I resent him for it?” said James L. Brooks, a longtime director and friend since Mr. Harrelson’s days in television.

“He has a career with the kind of roles that I think anybody would be happy to have,” Mr. Brooks added. “He has done savage, textured villains, comedy and very serious dramatic roles. I saw him in London in Tennessee Williams’s ‘Night of the Iguana,’ and he was amazing.”

Mr. Harrelson, in Los Angeles for a few days on his way back from Amsterdam, where he attended the environmental symposium called Picnic, looked rested and fit. Though he claims not to work out, his deep affection for pastimes like kite surfing and yoga make him look as if he does. The day before an interview he had spent time with Luke and Owen Wilson, playing something he called “head tennis,” an ad-hoc sport that involves using everything but the hands to return a soccer ball over a tennis net.

It was clear, as he talked between bites, that his small but pivotal role in “No Country” had left a tantalizing taste in his mouth.

“I love those guys, just like every other actor,” he said of the Coen brothers, who wrote and directed the movie. “They are among the greatest filmmakers alive. They know exactly, exactly what they want. The first day of shooting I was in the last scene, and they still had me come in at 9 a.m., and I thought, ‘Well, that’s cool. I’ll get to watch them work all day.’ They were done by lunch. There was nothing in that movie that they had not thought through a long time before we ever got there.”

Mr. Harrelson floated into public consciousness in the mid-1980s as Woody, the spacey, guileless bartender in the popular sitcom “Cheers.” He spends no time distancing himself from the character or what it did for him.

(Page 2 of 2)

“I thought I might eventually end up doing some quality regional theater,” he said. “Instead I end up with this role that everyone remembers. And hey, people who don’t even know me like me because of that role. That’s a pretty cool thing.

Over time the kid from the sticks — he grew up in Lebanon, Ohio — found himself working with A-list directors like Robert Altman (“A Prairie Home Companion”), Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”), Milos Forman (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”) and, most notably, Oliver Stone (“Natural Born Killers”).

“Everybody paints Oliver as this kind of monster, like he gets on people’s nerves,” he said. “But the truth is, he is just this amazing big kid who really cares about getting it right. I can remember that I was going to do this robber scene that was this long shot where I was jumping over counters and going through glass. Just before the camera was going to roll, he came up to me and said: ‘This shot took two hours to set up. Don’t screw it up.’ And then he yelled, ‘Action!’ That was his idea of a pep talk.”

Mr. Harrelson may be quick to find the funny in almost anything, but then he has credibly played stone cold killers. If there is any darkness of the soul, it derives from the fact that his father, Charles Harrelson, was sentenced to two life terms for the contract killing of a federal judge in 1979. Mr. Harrelson financed an expensive effort to win his father a retrial, but the senior Mr. Harrelson died in March at a high-security federal prison in Florence, Colo.

“I would give anything, anything, just to have done with him what we are doing right now, which is to sit outside on a beautiful day having a meal,” he said. The wound is clearly still fresh. His eyes, which danced with amusement through several hours of an interview, misted, and he stopped talking for a few moments until a new topic came up.

Mr. Harrelson generally does not overthink his movie career — it’s all make-believe, after all — but he is full of opinions when it comes to small matters like saving the world. Sitting in Santa Monica eating high-end raw food, his 100 percent organic cotton shirt states it plainly: “If this is what global warming feels like, I’m against it.” He can riff on hemp, the dark ends of Big Pharma and the wages of conformity with alacrity. And he lives in Maui, a tough commute for a working actor, partly because he does not want himself or his family to be imprisoned by a grid of consumer culture and Los Angeles ambition.

“I feel like an alien creature for which there is no earthly explanation,” he says in a poem on, a Web site that he and his wife founded to promote sustainable, organic living.

Later, down on the beach, he took in the sun-drenched waters and a bit of a breeze that kept the heat at bay.

“I’m a beach guy, but it’s hard to get over what they are dumping in it,” he said. “But still, it’s mostly beautiful. It’s part of the reason we live in Maui. We get in the water every day.”

“I started kite surfing about two months ago, and to me it’s about the greatest sport I have ever encountered,” he continued.

The last time he went, in a light wind, he hit the water a long ways from shore. “I had to swim a 15-meter kite all the way back in, with about 50 pounds of seaweed on each line.”

Shouldn’t there be people to look after a big movie star and the kite he splashed in the water?

“Yeah, I was wondering where my people were all the way in,” he said, laughing.
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transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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