Anyone who knows actor Woody Harrelson knows this is someone who isn’t exactly shy or afraid to reveal himself--literally. Friends and associates say he’s playful, flirtatious, loves to show off his body and enjoys playing practical jokes.
After all, this is the not-so-modest guy who appeared in just a cowboy hat and skin-tight Calvin Klein briefs in a 60-foot billboard above Times Square for a few days in December, parodying rapper Marky Mark’s pouty Calvin ads. The billboard, featuring a Herb Ritts photo of a well-endowed Harrelson, was shot for a scene to appear in the actor’s summer movie “The Cowboy Way.”
The spectacle generated much buzz on the streets of Manhattan and around Hollywood, but didn’t cause nearly as much jaw-dropping as the even more provocative stunt Harrelson pulled months earlier on the set of the Imagine Films-produced movie, which Universal Pictures will release June 3. It co-stars Kiefer Sutherland, and features the two as real cowboys off to New York to rescue a friend.
Last September, about two weeks into the location shoot in Santa Fe, some 50 or so cast, crew and friends were watching Harrelson film a scene in which he runs out of his house wearing only cowboy boots and a cowboy hat covering his privates (one of the film’s biggest laughs stems from the scene). On the third take, the actor shocked the onlookers by intentionally dropping his hat.
“I was totally shocked,” recalls actress Kristin Baer, who stars in the scene as a rodeo queen and Harrelson’s part-time girlfriend.
“I think everyone was really startled--and I was pleasantly surprised,” added the actress on a phone interview, joking, “Now we really know that Woody is a really big star.”
Baer, a New York stage and television actress, said that even though the incident was unexpected and shocking, it didn’t surprise her coming from Harrelson.
“Woody loves to joke and play around,” says Baer. By dropping his hat, Baer said, “Woody wanted to make a point and he made it. When the billboard went up in Times Square, let’s just say it was a fitting tribute.”
Producer Brian Grazer, who co-heads Imagine Entertainment with director Ron Howard, said that David Geffen suggested they put Harrelson on the Times Square billboard, a feat the entertainment mogul had no problem accomplishing with a simple phone call to his good buddy Calvin Klein.*