The publicists from the Mill Valley Film Festival, whom it’s important to note, we like very much, emailed to tell me they enjoyed our interview with Clive Owen. Would we, they emailed, be willing to come back up and interview Woody Harrelson?

I have to admit, Woody Harrelson does not have the same pull for me as Clive Owen. But another famous Woody said, “90% of life is showing up.” So after long days at school and work respectively, Ferguson the videographer and I drove back up to the Rafael Theater and got to work.

This “Tribute to Woody Harrelson” was exactly the same scenario as the “Spotlight on Clive Owen.”

Only not sold out.

Anyway, we secured the same spot on the red carpet, filmed the into and interviews of people waiting in line. We giggled with the folks walking past who decided to stick around and catch a glimpse. The publicists even asked us to be last along the red carpet.

“It’ll be good to do the last interview with you. You know, end with funny and light.”

Sounds great! I had my big funny and light questions all planned out. “So, I understand you live on Maui. Do you have some place that you hang out where everybody knows your name? And they’re, you know, always glad you came?”

He’d probably list some yoga studio or recycling plant, but I thought it would be cute and maybe provide you fine people with a smirk.

Have Googled the star of Kingpin, I noticed that he doesn’t give the greatest interviews. I’m sure it’s exhausting answering stupid question after stupid question. I’m sure it can get boring and repetitive and, when people like me are involved, a bit obnoxious. Promoting a movie is hard work.

Is it as hard work as say, working on an oil rig, rescuing people from burning buildings or teaching inner city youth?

Apparently, it is.

I actually got excited when Woody Harrelson pulled up, sitting in the backseat of a chauffeur-driven Prius. Ferguson was ready, the camera aimed at this star of such classics as White Men Can’t Jump and Semi-Pro. A few people pushed through asking for autographs, but Woody walked right past all of the press.

And then right in front of us, he stopped. The publicists all tried to gently motion Woody back to the beginning of the line, where seasoned journalists stood with little embarrassed looks on their faces.

It was all so fast and weird. I thought, “Well, shit. Maybe he’ll just stop at us!”

And finally, HIS publicist, this woman who we’ll call “Floral Top” and who, quite frankly scared the shit out of me, asked him if he would do some interviews.

To my horror and immediate left, Woody shook his head no.

And to my disgust, everyone kind of threw their hands up in the air and was like, “Okay!”

Oh, forgive us for asking, Mr. Woody Fucking Boyd, but might you be able to muster the energy to answer a few questions for YOUR FANS as you walk the red carpet INTO YOUR TRIBUTE?

I think I’d be less angry if Roy Munson had turned and said, “Sorry guys. I’m beat.” Maybe tossed a wave to the camera.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t still talk shit about him, but I was exhausted too. I’d been at work all day. Ferguson had driven an hour to run around with camera equipment hanging off him. It was oddly hot and humid. Obviously, no one pays us to do any of this. We do it’s because it’s fun!

Woody Harrelson was not fun.

The man could have taken a shit in the middle of the red carpet and Floral Top would’ve been like, “Take your time, Mr. Harrelson!”

The Mill Valley Film Festival publicists were very apologetic, shrugging in solidarity and clearly not expecting the red carpet burn. “Gosh, that was weird. I’m so sorry you came out for that. That sucks you didn’t get an interview.”

Does Mr. Harrelson manage to actually speak to you or does he communicate via his entourage of hemp practicians and shaman healers?You’d think that before hand, someone would say, “Listen Woody, they’ve arranged for members of the press to interview you on the red carpet. Are you willing to answer some questions?”

He could’ve said no, they could’ve emailed us, I wouldn’t be wearing this t-shirt that says, “Woody Harrelson can eat shit.”

Floral Top, on the other hand, was marching around in her equestrian boots trying to make us interview the director.

At this point, the only questions I had for the director would have been along the lines of, “Does Mr. Harrelson manage to actually speak to you or does he communicate via his entourage of hemp practicians and shaman healers? Exactly how big of a dick is Woody Harrelson? Do you think Woody Harrelson actually knows how to spell the words environment, recycle and compost? Or does he just shit in dirt and think he’s better than us?”

So I politely told Floral Top that I might ask some questions she might find inappropriate. She looked at me like I was crazy. Ashley, the MVFF publicist jumped in. “They’re kind of hipper. Edgier. Beth is funny.”

Floral Top’s eyes rolled so high, I thought she was having a passive-aggressive seizure. “Well, we don’t need THAT.”

And she clomped off in those equestrian boots, which truth be told, was the best thing about her.

Ferguson and I filmed a series of snarky wrap-ups. And then, after standing around for 2 hours to get burned by Woody Harrelson, we drove all the way home in our horrible, planet-killing cars.

Am I glad I went?

Yes, for 3 reasons.

1. I am resolved that from now on, we will never cover an event to help someone hawk their wares. Standing around for 2 hours with a bunch of professional journalists, only to be offered the director as a consolation prize is pretty much embarrassing for everybody, including the director. You don’t own me, Floral Top! (I just threw her the elbows-out, double middle finger.)

2. I learned that even in a fun Summer-to-Fall floral top and fabulous equestrian boots, beauty truly comes from the inside. I hope that I’m never a stone-cold ice queen to excited fans just so I can kiss the ass of the co-star of Money Train.

3. Seymour Cassel, legendary Hollywood icon and star of Rushmore, kissed my hand and casually smoked a cigar indoors. The man gets a big thumbs up in my book and totally made up for, as Ferguson called it, a “major burn.”

In closing, Woody Harrelson can sit and spin. Clive Owen just went UP in my book, and I didn’t think that was possible. And don’t go see The Messenger. If Woody won’t take 30 seconds to say high to the viewers of VidSF and the readers of the SF Appeal, fuck him.

I wonder which star of the silver screen will be next!?!?!?!

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  • Christine Borden

    Beth, I love you. Kudos to you for throwing some punches and not putting up with celebrity/publicist BS.

  • cedichou

    So Woody is an ass because he did not do something he never agreed to do? You provided the camera and the microphone to hype up the red carpet, so you got used. But he did not do it.

  • Greg Dewar

    Harrelson Shmarelson. When he’s playing an interesting character on the screen, I’ll watch it and that’s fine. But I’ve always got the impression that Woody the person is the epitome of Hollywood Green Limousine Liberal. Pretentious as Hell and overbearing in that “see see I took a fucking prius to the premiere! I didn’t take the bus or ride a bike or a hemp fueled rocket ship, I took a FUCKING PRIUS OMG IM SO FUCKING COOL.”

    Beth 1, Woody H, 0.

  • bruin89

    He’s a tool. Never been a fan, but even less so after I once saw him on Maui at a dinky granola restaurant/store with one of his handlers/hangers-on. I happen to know his wife from college and was going to ask him to say hi from me. I took one step toward him and he made eye contact and gave me an unmistakeable “Don’t even think about approaching me” look. So I didn’t. F- him.

  • SF94122

    I like Woody, but c’mon..

  • BigDaddy1

    Not a big surprise: Harrelson has always had the reputaion of being something of a jerk and a phoney. That’s Hollywood.

  • NYAppeal

    Perhaps you’re new at this whole interviewing actors thing. Interivews are supposed to be PRE-arranged through the ACTOR’S publicist, not through the film festival’s. Its not Woody’s fault he didn’t stop to answer your annoying questions (really, do you have a bar where everybody knows your name?). Maybe had you set up an interview with him the right way, you could’ve actually had something interesting to write about, instead of a few paragraphs of talking shit about an actor who you would have been lucky to interivew.