WOODY HARRELSON: I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH VIRGINS

One of a series of actors’ reminiscences researched by Jack Tewkesbury

Woody Harrelson

Look, I have no problem  with  twenty-five-year-old  virgins. In  another  twenty-five  years  they’ll  be  fifty.  Think  of  all the  fun  they’ve  missed.

We  have  a  very  puritanical  view  of  sex  in this  country. It’s  time  to  evolve, to  embrace  sex  as  a  cool  thing.  But you’re  right.  For  a  long  time  I  wasn’t  able  to  sustain  a relationship  with  a  woman, I  was  never  really  capable of  viewing  a  woman  as  anything  but  sexual. If  I  didn’t look  at  her  in  a  sexual  way,  my  interest  was  nil.

The  modern  American  male  is  socialized  into  his  need for  coquest. I was into having as many  physical  experiences as  I  could,  but  I  changed. It  started  when  I  hired  this  lady as  an  assistant. We  worked  together  for  two-and-a-half years  before  anything  romantic  happened,  which  allowed  us to  become  really,  really  good  friends  first.

Through  her  I  was  able  to  establish  a  great  relationship with  a  woman  that  was  completely  non-sexual. It’s  tough, really.  Men  aren’t  programmed  to  have  friendships  with women.  Even  with  men, it’s limited. Very  often  sports  is  our common  interest.   In  every  other  area,  we  are  competitive.

We  compete  for  money, we  compete  for  women. Women  are better  at  friendship  and  relationship.

When  I  was  young, I  was  kind  of  shy  around  women, so I  thought  I’d  make  up  for  it  by  becoming  a  total  hedonist. I  spent  my  first  five  years,  while  on  Cheers, accomplishing that,  but  then  I  started  to  focus  on  my  spirituality,  so  it’s been  a  process  of  balancing  my  physical,  emotional,  and spiritual  lives.

I  was  kind  of  a  troubled  child.  I  have  an  enormous shadow,  the  so-called  dark  stuff  in  your  life  that  you  suppress  or  repress.  People   tell  you  you  are  bad  from  the time  you  are  very  young.  You  put  in  this  bag  and  you carry  it  along  with  you. It  gets  bigger  and  bigger , it  keeps growing. I have  to  deal  with   my  shadow  because  it’s  enormous.  But  it’s  a  good  thing  for  me  to  confront  my  shadow.

GOLDEN GLOBE PRESENTERS SHARE A LAUGH

Woody Harrelson used the early-morning Golden Globes nominations announcement to plug his new movie.

The actor was among the stars helping the Hollywood Foreign Press Association reveal nominees for the 69th annual Golden Globes on a worldwide telecast Thursday, and he appeared to include his yet-to-be-released police drama “Rampart” in the best picture category.

As he read the nominees for best dramatic film, Harrelson said, “‘Rampart,'” followed by a long pause, “opens January 27, but I don’t see it on the list here.”

The nominees for best drama film are “The Descendants,” ”The Help,” ”Hugo,” ”The Ides of March,” ”Moneyball” and “War Horse.” Harrelson, along with Gerard Butler, Sofia Vergara and Rashida Jones, made the announcement at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the Golden Globes will be presented Jan. 15.

Photograph by Theo Kingma