Lately I've been thinking about my favorite Woody Harrelson characters. I remember being as enamored of him as a seven year old could be when he starred in Cheers, and over the course of his career, I've always enjoyed his movies. His brilliant turn in The Hunger Games has brought him to the forefront of my mind again, in addition to introducing him to a whole new generation of moviegoers. So, let's take a look at some of the best Woody Harrelson characters – at least, in my opinion! Join me?
1. Haymitch: the Hunger Games
Of course I have to mention Haymitch, he's one of my favorite Woody Harrelson characters to date. In the novels, Haymitch comes off as a little more gritty and grumpy, but Woody does something with the character that I love seeing on the big screen. He's somehow both gruff and slightly fabulous, and I have to admit, I love all the hand gestures. I'm being serious! I think he'll do great things with Haymitch as the series continues.
2. Mickey Knox: Natural Born Killers
You knew this was going to make the list, right? It's an incredibly violent movie, and incredibly controversial as well. Both the movie and the character of Mickey sensationalize violence, they turn it into something glamorous. Not good, I know, especially at this particular moment in time, but Mickey was integral in forming Woody's career, and I can't skip him. No way.
3. Larry Flynt: the People Vs. Larry Flynt
This movie came out when I was in the ninth grade. In Lynchburg, VA. Where Jerry Falwell's church is located. Just setting up the scene, here. I got so much crap for liking this movie, and for liking Woody's portrayal of Larry Flynt in particular. By all accounts, the Hustler mogul is not a sympathetic character. However, Woody Harrelson plays unsympathetic characters very, very well. He deserved the Oscar nomination for this role, and once again proved that he was good for more than comedy. However, part of me wishes he'd never taken the part, just because Courtney Love still messes with him.
4. Billy Hoyle: White Men Can't Jump
Woody is just pure charm in this movie. He's brilliant opposite Wesley Snipes, and he made Rosie Perez not just tolerable but rather magical. Although he took Billy in a comedic direction every so often, the twists of drama in this movie were what made me love the character so much. Billy goes through so much, but you're there with him through everything.
5. David Murphy: Indecent Proposal
I love Harrelson in this movie because it was, I believe, the first time I saw him in anything dramatic. Of course, I was only 11 when the movie came out, so I didn't really appreciate his acting as the rather naive, touchingly vulnerable David until I watched it again when I was older. To be perfectly honest, I love watching David fall to pieces. I honestly think that's one of Woody's finest hours, and one of the best parts in the movie.
6. Roy Munson: Kingpin
I've actually never met anyone else who likes this movie. Although I adore the Farrelly brothers, they're not my primary reason for adoring this movie. Balding, one-handed, cantankerous Roy Munson deserves full credit for that. He's just such a loser, he's a manipulator, a user, and yet I sympathized with him from the very first scene. I love his transition from wide-eyed, idealistic kid to drunken curmudgeon – and of course his ultimate redemption is just beautiful.
7. Tallahassee: Zombieland
There is absolutely nothing I don't love about Tallahassee. I loved every line, every grunt, every rant, and every zombie killing spree. Plus, I loved seeing Woody in another starring role – finally! He was a fantastic foil, and his love of Twinkies was hilarious – not to mention purely believable. I have to admit, Tallahassee reminded me of countless relatives. Maybe that's why I love him so much.
There are tons of other fantastic Woody Harrelson characters, of course. It's impossible to pick one single favorite. Heck, it was hard enough to just pick seven. If you're a fan of this hilarious, philanthropic, and incredibly unique actor, I'd love to hear your take on his roles. What's your favorite Woody movie or character?