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‘Champions’ star Woody Harrelson: SNL monologue controversy caps storied private journey

Woody Harrelson made a uncommon pink carpet look along with his household on the premiere of his new film, “Champions,” in New York Metropolis.

The 61-year-old actor was joined by his spouse, Laura Louie, 55, and their daughters, Deni, 30, and Makani, 16, as he attended the occasion on the AMC Lincoln Sq. Theater on Monday evening. The pair, who’ve been married since 2008, additionally share daughter Zoe, 26.

The “Triangle of Disappointment” star tends to maintain his household life out of the highlight and has solely made a handful of pink carpet appearances along with his spouse and daughters previously. For this outing, Harrelson was all smiles, with the foursome all beaming and posing for the cameras. 

Harrelson’s household evening comes after he made waves with the controversial “Saturday Night time Dwell” monologue that he delivered whereas internet hosting the NBC comedy sketch collection final weekend.

Woody Harrelson made a rare red carpet appearance with his family at the premiere of his new movie, "Champions."

Woody Harrelson made a uncommon pink carpet look along with his household on the premiere of his new film, “Champions.” (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Photographs)

The Texas native sparked backlash on-line when he appeared to poke enjoyable at COVID-19 vaccines throughout his opening monologue.

After joking about his frequent use of marijuana, conflicting political opinions as a “redneck hippie” and division in America, Harrelson closed out his monologue by recounting a film pitch he allegedly learn in 2019 that he known as the “craziest” he’s ever heard. 


He was joined by his wife Laura Louie, 55, and their daughters Deni, 30, and Makani, 16. The pair, who have been married since 2008, also share daughter Zoe, 26.

He was joined by his spouse Laura Louie, 55, and their daughters Deni, 30, and Makani, 16. The pair, who’ve been married since 2008, additionally share daughter Zoe, 26. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Photographs)

“So the film goes like this: The most important drug cartels on this planet get collectively and purchase up all of the media and all of the politicians and drive all of the folks on this planet to remain locked of their properties. And other people can solely come out in the event that they take the cartel’s medicine and maintain taking them again and again,” Harrelson stated. 

“I threw the script away. I imply, who was going to imagine that loopy thought? Being pressured to do medicine? I do this voluntarily all day.”

On the finish of the present, Harrelson, who hosted for the fifth time on Saturday, was inducted into “SNL”s 5-Timers Membership. The membership consists of celebrities who’ve hosted “SNL” 5 or extra occasions and its membership consists of Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Sting and Drew Barrymore amongst others.

Harrelson sparked backlash online when he hosted "SNL" on Saturday after making a joke about COVID-19 vaccines in his opening monologue. It was the actor's fifth time hosting the show.

Harrelson sparked backlash on-line when he hosted “SNL” on Saturday after making a joke about COVID-19 vaccines in his opening monologue. It was the actor’s fifth time internet hosting the present. (Will Heath/NBC)

Scarlett Johansson, who’s herself a member of the 5-Timers Membership, made a shock look to current Harrelson with the membership’s conventional 5-Timers smoking jacket.

After the episode aired, Harrelson’s monologue obtained a blended response on-line. Some Twitter customers praised the actor’s obvious jab on the COVID-19 vaccine whereas many mainstream media retailers together with The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone and The Washington Publish criticized Harrelson for selling “conspiracies.”

The monologue additionally drew a response from Elon Musk, who tweeted “So based mostly. Good work @nbcsnl!”

In one other tweet, Musk urged the feedback had been spot on and reflective of life within the U.S. over the previous couple of years.

When one Twitter person warned for folks to “prepare for the meltdowns,” Musk stated: “Perhaps they [media outlets] don’t notice that their propaganda is flawed?”

Scarlett Johansson made a surprise appearance to present Harrelson with his Five-Timers smoking jacket.

Scarlett Johansson made a shock look to current Harrelson along with his 5-Timers smoking jacket. (Will Heath/NBC by way of Getty Photographs)

Harrelson later taped an look on “Late Night time With Seth Meyers” throughout which he joked about his look on “SNL.”

After Harrelson quipped that he remembered “nothing in any respect” about internet hosting the present on Saturday, Meyers requested if he remembered the “excessive of internet hosting” and whether or not it felt the identical although it was his fifth time.

“Oh, there was a severe excessive of internet hosting happening,” the longtime hashish activist stated with fun.

“Everybody within the dressing room had an entire excessive of internet hosting” he added. “Thick with — anyway.”


Meyers then requested Harrelson about his West Hollywood weed dispensary, The Woods, and pulled out a replica of a Los Angeles billboard advert for the shop that featured a photograph of Harrelson as a younger man. He was pictured shirtless and carrying a pair of pink swim trunks.

Harrelson later joked about his "SNL" appearance and talked about his marijuana dispensary during an appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers."

Harrelson later joked about his “SNL” look and talked about his marijuana dispensary throughout an look on “Late Night time With Seth Meyers.” (Lloyd Bishop/NBC by way of Getty Photographs)

“That is an outdated picture of you. And I used to be pondering what would this younger man assume in case you informed him that sooner or later, you’re going to personal a authorized marijuana dispensary?” Meyers requested.

“Effectively, on the time, he did not smoke,” Harrelson stated whereas pointing on the advert. “So, he would have been like, ‘No approach.’”

“I used to be very spiritual at the moment,” he stated. The “Zombieland” actor stated that he was working as a lifeguard at a church camp when the picture was taken.

“I used to go to church,” he added. “Somebody despatched that to The Woods, and we had been like, ‘Let’s simply use this.'”

The longtime cannabis activist owns The Woods, a West Hollywood dispensary that he opened in May 2022.

The longtime hashish activist owns The Woods, a West Hollywood dispensary that he opened in Could 2022. (Stefanie Keenan/Getty Photographs for The Woods)

“I’ll say, I might positively have guessed weed earlier than church camp lifeguard,” Meyers joked as they each laughed.

Harrelson went on to say that The Woods was the “most stunning place you have ever seen.”

“I imply, it’s stunningly stunning,” he added. “It is essentially the most stunning dispensary on this planet. After that, I can not promise something. However there is a ganja giggle backyard out again the place you may go on the market and giggle.”

Whereas Harrelson’s love of hashish is well-known, his private journey could come as a shock to a few of his followers. Here is a have a look at the Emmy Award-winner’s spiritual upbringing, his relationship along with his convicted contract killer father, his rise to fame with “Cheers” and continued profession success, in addition to his household life and his new film, “Champions.”

Spiritual childhood

Harrelson was raised in a religious household and considered becoming a pastor.

Harrelson was raised in a non secular family and thought of turning into a pastor. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

Born in Midland, Texas, Harrelson was raised in a deeply spiritual Presbyterian family. In a 2012 interview with GQ, he opened up about his household’s religion: “I used to be very spiritual rising up,” he stated. “My mother nonetheless is. We went to church on a regular basis, went to Bible research; we even did Bible research at my home.”

Harrelson continued, “I went to a Presbyterian school, , I used to be in … all the best way, and so I keep in mind doing my first sermon once I was 17, I used to be in highschool. It wasn’t a full 25-minute sermon, however for like 10 minutes I acquired up they usually let me do this and it was on religion.”

In 2018, the actor revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that he had thought-about turning into a pastor earlier than pursuing an appearing profession. He shared that he studied theology and drama at Hanover School, a Presbyterian college in Hanover, Indiana. One in every of his classmates was future Vice President Mike Pence.

“I knew him,” Harrelson stated of Pence. “We had been each very spiritual. It was a Presbyterian school on the time, and I used to be there on a Presbyterian scholarship, and he was concerned within the church actions.”

“I used to be truly contemplating being a minister after which I simply form of went a unique approach,” he added.


Harrelson stated that he had a optimistic impression of Pence once they attended school collectively: “I believed he was an excellent man,” he stated. “He was very spiritual, very dedicated. So, seeing in how I am not fairly in that ballpark now, I do not understand how we would get alongside as a result of I believe he is nonetheless fairly spiritual, only a entire completely different model of non secular.”

He added, “That form of fervor that you simply actually don’t desire. I do not.”

Harrelson defined that he started to query his religion throughout his research.

“I began to see how artifical the Bible was, after which I began saying, ‘I may put this entire factor on maintain for some time.’”

The star stated that he even started to query Christianity and the existence of God.

“I stated, ‘Let’s simply put this entire thought on maintain, so I can have 20s and 30s of maximum hedonism,'” he added with fun.

When Kimmel requested if his faith was nonetheless on maintain or if it had been “canceled,” Harrelson replied, “I do imagine there’s a God now.”

His father was a convicted contract killer

Harrelson's father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, was a convicted contract killer.

Harrelson’s father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, was a convicted contract killer. (Getty)

Harrelson’s father, Charles Voyde Harrelson was successful man who was convicted of killing federal decide John H. Wooden Jr. in 1981. Texas drug lord Jamiel Chagra contracted Charles to kill Wooden because of his harsh sentencing of drug traffickers. It was the first homicide of a federal decide within the twentieth century. Charles obtained two life sentences for the homicide.

In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Harrelson opened up about his father and their relationship. He stated that his mother and father separated when he was round 7 years outdated. Harrelson recalled that previous to being given a life sentence, his father “wasn’t round an excessive amount of.”


“He was gone loads earlier than that, in jail,” he informed the outlet. “Away and again. Away and again. It wasn’t like he was there on a regular basis previous to that.”

He remembered that he first realized that Charles was a contract killer after listening to about one among his father’s earlier trials on the radio.

“It was a wild realization,” Harrelson stated. Although he recalled that his mom was “nicely out of affection” along with his father on the time, he defined that they did not converse of Charles incessantly.

Charles was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering a federal judge.

Charles was sentenced to life in jail after being convicted of murdering a federal decide. (Getty)

“I’ve acquired to present her credit score as a result of she by no means actually soured us on him,” he stated of himself and his two brothers. “She didn’t speak unfavorable about him, by no means, ever. And she or he may have – he wasn’t the best husband. Or father.”

In a 2008 interview with the Monetary Instances, Harrelson stated that his household was “poor” when he was rising up. “However my mother all the time took care of us [and] we all the time had meals,” he added. “It was loads to lift three youngsters on her personal as a secretary, however she did it, and he or she positive did take care of us.”

After studying of his father’s arrest for Wooden’s homicide in 1980, Harrelson tried to contact him. The 2 stayed in contact till his father’s dying in 2007. Charles died in jail from a coronary heart assault on the age of 68.

“I attempted for years to get him out. To get him a brand new trial,” Harrelson shared. He went on to say that he wasn’t positive if his father “deserved” a brand new trial, however he was “simply being a son attempting to assist his dad. Then I spent a few million beating my head towards the wall.”

Harrelson stated that he and his father had been on good phrases till his dying.

“We acquired alongside fairly good. When you may’t hang around and go to a pub, what I imply, it’s arduous.”

‘Cheers’ breakthrough to profitable film and tv profession

Harrelson rose to fame after starring in the hit sitcom "Cheers."

Harrelson rose to fame after starring within the hit sitcom “Cheers.” (NBCUniversal by way of Getty Photographs by way of Getty Photographs)

Harrelson made his breakthrough in Hollywood when he landed the position of bartender Woody Boyd within the hit NBC sitcom “Cheers.” After becoming a member of the solid in 1985, he remained on the present till its eighth and closing season in 1993. Harrelson obtained 5 Emmy Award nominations for his position on “Cheers,” profitable one for excellent supporting character in a comedy collection in 1989. He picked up one other Emmy Award nomination when he reprised his position within the “Cheers” spinoff “Frasier” in 1999.

The actor additionally established a profitable profession on the large display. He starred in hits together with “Pure Born Killers,” “White Man Cannot Leap” and “Indecent Proposal.” Harrelson’s flip as Hustler writer Larry Flynt in 1996’s “The Individuals Vs. Larry Flynt” earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.


A few of his best-known movies embrace “A Skinny Crimson Line,” “Wag the Canine,” “No Nation For Outdated Males,” Anger Administration,” “Zombieland,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “The Starvation Video games” trilogy, amongst others. Harrelson was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award amongst different accolades for his efficiency in 2009’s “The Messenger.”

In 2014, Harrelson starred within the HBO tv collection “True Detective.” He obtained an Academy Award nomination for finest supporting actor in 2017’s “Three Billboards Exterior Ebbing, Missouri.” In 2021, he starred within the Marvel film “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” 

Harrelson’s 2022 credit embrace the Academy Award-nominated film “Triangle of Disappointment” and the motion comedy “The Man From Toronto.”

Blissful household man

Harrelson and his wife, Laura, met in 1987 when she became his personal assistant.

Harrelson and his spouse, Laura, met in 1987 when she turned his private assistant. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Photographs for The Apollo)

Harrelson was briefly married to Nancy Simon in 1985. In 1987, he met his future spouse, Laura Louie, who accepted a job as his private assistant. He informed The Guardian that he finally realized that he was in love with Louie whereas he was away in Africa, although he felt responsible as a result of she was his assistant.

“I got here again from Africa and I couldn’t even say I used to be in love together with her as a result of I used to be so nervous,” he admitted in 2012. “I’d been sitting there with a guitar, so I wrote this music to her, and I sang it to her, and on the finish of it she goes, ‘Woody, I’ve been in love with you for the final two and a half years.’ Then I picked her up and carried her in.”

The 2 tied the knot in 2008 nearly 20 years after they first started courting. In 2017, Harrelson informed the Hollywood Reporter, “I by no means believed within the idea of [marriage]. I simply by no means believed that it made any sense, this long-term monogamy factor that people do.”

He added, “I simply was incapable of long-term relationships. I used to be with whoever would have me. Then I met my spouse.”

Harrelson and his daughter, Zoe, are pictured at the premiere of "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2" in 2015.

Harrelson and his daughter, Zoe, are pictured on the premiere of “Starvation Video games: Mockingjay Half 2” in 2015. (Michael Kovac/Getty Photographs for FIAT Chrysler Auto)

In 1993, the pair welcomed their first daughter, Deni.

“I keep in mind my daughter, Deni, coming alongside, and he or she was so pure and caring of all people and every part,” he stated in a 2008 interview with Esquire. “And in some way, this little being managed to get round all of the obstacles — the gun turrets, the partitions, the moats, the sentries — that had been wrapped round my coronary heart. My coronary heart at the moment wanted her. I believe it’s one of the best factor going, parenthood.”

Harrelson and Louie welcomed daughters Zoe in 1996 and Makani in 2006. They introduced Makani’s beginning with a press release that learn, “On this loopy patriarchal world we stay in, we’re doing our half to steadiness the power. We’re proud to announce the completion of our goddess trilogy with the beginning of our third daughter, Makani Ravello, born on June third.”


The actor mirrored on the affect that his household has had on him in a 2018 interview with The Guardian.

“Earlier than, I’d been gregarious – somebody who loved the corporate of others,” he informed the outlet. “However throughout “Cheers,” the strain of folks that I didn’t know always wanting to speak to me made me recoil and develop into much less outgoing. It had fairly a unfavorable affect. I went by means of a interval of vanity and having my head up my a–,” he admits. “However, fortunately, this life and my household – my spouse and my daughters – they form of liked me into a greater human being.”


Harrelson’s newest undertaking is Bobby Farrelly’s solo directorial debut “Champions.” The sports activities comedy is a remake of the 2018 Spanish movie “Campeones,” which was impressed by the true story of the Anderes workforce in Valencia that received 12 Spanish championships.


In “Champions,” Harrelson performs Markus Marakovich, a former minor-league basketball coach who receives a court docket order to handle a workforce of gamers with mental disabilities as a part of his neighborhood service. The workforce, which is called “Buddies,” has lengthy aspired to make it to the Particular Olympics

In keeping with a synopsis for the film, Marcus “quickly realizes that regardless of his doubts, collectively, this workforce can go additional than they ever imagined.” The workforce’s members are performed by 10 actors who’ve disabilities, a few of whom had been first-time performers.

Woody Harrelson and the cast of "Champions" at the New York City premiere.

Woody Harrelson and the solid of “Champions” on the New York Metropolis premiere. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Photographs)

In a current interview with the New York Instances, Harrelson stated that he instantly bonded with the solid.

“These guys are so cool, so humorous, so trustworthy,” he informed the outlet.

Harrelson continued, ‘They’ll by no means let you know a lie. They’ll let you know a fib — ‘your shoe’s untied’ — however their kindness and heat, inside a few hours I used to be hook, line and sinker part of them. I haven’t had a lot expertise with folks with disabilities, so I didn’t know what to anticipate, and I’ve acquired to say, it was most likely essentially the most gratifying expertise I ever had making a film.”

“Champions” additionally stars Kaitlyn Olson, Ernie Hudson, Cheech Marin, Matt Cook dinner and Madison Tevlin. The movie is about to debut in theaters on March 10.


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