Woody Harrelson was the cover subject for Esquire’s September issue, and inside he dished on a variety of topics, from his thoughts on President Donald Trump, to his love of marijuana, to career choices.
Harrelson recalls a horrific dinner with Trump, the First Lady Melania and Jesse Ventura in 2002.
He went to support his pal, he explained.
Harrelson said: “So Jesse Ventura former pro wrestler and ex-governor of Minnesota is a buddy of mine, and he called me up—and this is in, oh, 2002—and said, ‘Donald Trump is going to try to convince me to be his running mate for the Democratic ticket in 2004. Will you be my date?’ I said, ‘Yeah, man.’ So we all met at Trump Tower, sat down. Melania was there, only she wasn’t his wife yet.”
He continued: “And it was, let me tell you, a brutal dinner. Two and a half hours. The fun part was watching Jesse’s moves. It would look like Trump had him pinned, was going to get him to say yes, and then Jesse would slip out at the last second. Now, at a fair table with four people, each person is entitled to 25 percent of the conversation, right? I’d say Melania got about 0.1 percent, maybe. I got about 1 percent. And the governor, Jesse, he got about 3 percent. Trump took the rest.”
It was so brutal, he said, he had to leave to smoke pot: “It got so bad I had to go outside and burn one before returning to the monologue monopoly. Listen, I came up through Hollywood, so I’ve seen narcissists. This guy was beyond. It blew my mind. He did say one thing that was interesting, though. He said, ‘You know, I’m worth four billion dollars,’ or maybe he said five billion dollars—one of those numbers, I forget. Anyway, he said, ‘I’m worth however- many billion dollars. But when I die, no matter how much it is, I know my kids are going to fight over it.’ That was the one true statement he made that night, and I thought, Okay, yeah, that’s pretty cool.”
Halfway through 2017, Harrelson shocked the nation by informing everyone that he’d given up pot after”30 solid years of just partying too f***ing hard.”
But now, he’s back into it, thanks to his good friend Willie Nelson.
“See, everybody thinks of Willie as a model of progressive thinking and virtue, and he is, but he’s also got an evil side. Eee-vil,” Harrelson says of his singer-songwriter friend. About a year ago, Harrelson had gone around two years without using pot, even in the presence of Willie. “We’d be playing poker and he’d pass me a vape pen,” Harrelson said. “And I’d say, ‘Willie, man, I don’t do that anymore.’ And he’d act surprised, like it was news to him—every time, just as surprised as he could be.”
One night, he caved. “I was in a celebrating mood, so I snatched the pen from him and took a long draw,” Harrelson recalls. Naturally, the only thing Nelson had to say regarding Woody's fast-breaking puff was, “Welcome home, son.”
Harrelson discusses how he almost played Jerry Maguire in the eponymous film.
He said: “I was offered—what’s the ‘show me the money’ movie? Jerry Maguire? I was offered Jerry Maguire, and I said to Jim James L. Brooks, one of the film’s producers, ‘Nobody is going to give a s–t about an agent.”
Harrelson also almost turned down a 2009 film Zombieland: “My agent sent me the script, and I said, ‘Zombies, dude? Really? Has it come to this?’ And he said, ‘Will you please just read it?’ Finally, I did, and I’m like, ‘Damn. That’s good writing.'”
The sequel will be released on Oct. 18, 2019, 10 years after the first film’s release.