Celebs are people, too, and just like you and I they sometimes go on weekend-long benders.
Take 56-year-old Woody Harrelson, for example, who seems to be undergoing something of a career revival over the past few years.
Rolling Stone interviewed Woody about some of his current projects while he was sat in the fourth-floor bedroom of a friend’s house in London, and that led him to cast his mind back to 2002.
Woody’s bender weekend – details incoming:
He was dating future-wife Laura Louie, the mother of his three children, when late one night temptation struck, in the shapely shape of two women who slid up to him at a bar and said, “So, you want to take a walk on the wild side?” In his typical shambling style, Harrelson said, “I guess I do.”
Then another lady joined them and off they all went, back to his pad. Post whatever-happened-next, the women took off, but not before a paparazzo was able to snap a photo that soon hit the tabloids and that Louie soon got a glimpse of. According to Harrelson, the first words his apparently long-suffering girlfriend said to him were, “That must be really hard for you, to have this shit exposed,” which led to a good bit of groveling on Harrelson’s part and eventual forgiveness on Louie’s.
They got married six years later.
Always nice to see a happy ending, but that torrid London stay wasn’t done yet:
…the 2002 bad week wasn’t done with Harrelson yet. A few days later, he lost his temper inside a taxi and started trashing the car, kicking at the glass, smashing an ashtray, yelling and screaming, until he hopped out of that taxi and jumped into another one, which was soon intercepted by the police, after which Harrelson fled on foot. It took 14 cops to bring him down.
14 cops – someone’s been eating their veggies.
Here’s the Guardian with their report at the time:
[He] was eventually held by officers after breaking an ashtray and a lock on the door of a black cab which had been taking him from the China White nightclub to his hotel.
Harrelson reportedly jumped out of the cab following the incident and swiftly hailed another before speeding off with the first driver in hot pursuit. After a chase through central London, police eventually halted the second cab in Sloane Square, where the actor is reported to have fled on foot before eventually being stopped.
He was arrested on suspicion of causing £300 worth of damage to the cab and spent the night in a cell before being freed on bail.
A nightclub named China White? Gee, I wonder what goes on there.
Who wants to hear the good news? Rather than bury his no doubt hazy memories of that weekend, Woody turned it into a movie.
In the words of co-star Owen Wilson – wow.
The making of the movie was pretty groundbreaking, you see, with this from The Hollywood Reporter:
[It was the] first-of-its-kind live-streamed film based on what he describes as the worst night of his life. The pic was shot in a single take throughout 14 London locations, thanks to the work of 300-plus crewmembers and 30 actors.
“There weren’t a lot of laughs on the night,” Harrelson recalls of the June 7, 2002, evening, which serves as the inspiration for the film, shot on Jan. 19, 2017, and now available on iTunes…
Assembling the team was nothing compared to the technical challenges and the unpredictable nature of live-streaming a film as it was shot. In fact, the day before the performance was to be live-streamed, the camera dropped its signal multiple times during rehearsal.
With less than 24 hours to troubleshoot the glitch, Harrelson and his team felt immense pressure. The potentially catastrophic technical glitch was overshadowed by an even greater threat. On the day of the shoot, Harrelson learned that a major filming location, Waterloo Bridge, was shut down due to the discovery of unexploded World War II ordinances…
A single cameraman, John Hembrough, was responsible for capturing every choreographed moment as Harrelson traveled across 14 different London locations.
Splendid work, John.
If you’re at the age where you prefer to watch a movie about a bender, rather than go on one yourself, Lost in London might be your jam.
I would also recommend that all Woody fans read the New York Times article on him from a few weeks back, where you can find marvellous pictures like that one up right top and this one below.
You do you, Woody.
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