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'Rampart': Woody Harrelson's 'turning point' moment in LAPD role

November 18, 2011 | 11:56 am



Woody HarrelsonWoody Harrelson is an actor who likes the edge -- revisit “Natural Born Killers” or “The People vs. Larry Flynt” if you doubt it -- but on the first day of filming for “Rampart” the two-time Oscar nominee admits he got a little lost while walking on the wild side.

In conversation at the Envelope Screening Series, Harrelson revealed that his first stab at portraying a rogue LAPD cop named Dave Brown was off-target. That led to an anxious conversation the next day with director Oren Moverman and costar Ben Foster.

“The next morning we watched the dailies,” Harrelson said. “I watched as much as I could and I went up to Oren and I said, ‘Uhhh, can we talk?’ We go in the other room and it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, that didn’t work -- that just doesn’t work.’ We had this whole discussion where he was basically trying to lead me off of what I was trying to do. But I was trying to [say], ‘OK can you reshoot it because I can get this characterization thing down better.’ Then in comes Ben … .”

What happened next? Check out the video to hear how Harrelson got back on track for a role that has now landed him in the contender conversation for the upcoming Academy Awards.


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-- Geoff Boucher

Photo: A 2010 Woody Harrelson portrait. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.