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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Oren Moverman

'Rampart' ride-alongs left Woody Harrelson 'nervous and shocked'

December 3, 2011 |  4:58 am

Woody Harrelson Rampart

Woody Harrelson, Ice Cube and Sigourney Weaver all did law-and-order research for their roles in "Rampart," a film that presents a portrait of an LAPD veteran living life on the edge of chaos and crime.

Harrelson, talking during the Envelope Screening Series, said that his LAPD ride-along time was eye-opening and that he found a respect and connection with the cops after he got past the jolting things he witnessed.

 "Aside from all other research — reading every book or watching documentaries, movies, anything to do with cops and and just trying to absorb as much as I could about cops and also specifically about the LAPD and the history of it — I felt like the thing that helped the most was riding along with these
guys," Harrelson said. "And going from being a little nervous and shocked at what I was seeing to, you know, really respecting these guys and feeling the humanity in these guys and feeling like, 'I could be a cop.' " 



Woody Harrelson's "Rampart" turning point

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'The Descendants': George Clooney on the first day of filming

-- Geoff Boucher

Photo: "Rampart" (Millennium Entertainment) 

'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.


'The Artist': Give it a try, you'll love the movie, cast promises

'Shame': Michael Fassbender's chameleon power [Video]

'The Descendants': George Clooney on the first day of filming

-- Geoff Boucher

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


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