Woody Harrelson was on campus as part of the Ringling College Studio Labs. While here he screened his new movie, Lost in London, which is the first of its kind as it was shot in one take and broadcasted live to theaters in London. ART Network was able to snag a one on one interview with him as part of our elevator interview series, GOING UP. Before I sat down with him at a media roundtable, Harrelson took a tour of the motion design floor and popped in on a class.
The only thing is the motion design students did not know he would be stopping in. My phone quickly buzzed with friends telling me that Woody Harrelson just walked into their class and how they acted cool until he left, at which point they then proceeded to freak out. Understandably so, three-time nominated Academy actors don’t waltz in every day. And that’s when the nerves set in.
I knew if he was leaving the motion design classrooms then he was on his way to the soundstage where I would be interviewing him with other members of the press. I did my research, had a list of questions ready in my head, and was prepared to impress not just Woody, but other members of the press with my outstanding questions.
And then he walked through the door.
And everything I wanted to ask disappeared from my head as I’m shaking his hand.
While introductions are happening I quickly remember a question and prepare to ask it. Only problem is, I’m not the one who is asking the question that’s on the tip of my tongue. Another interviewer is. That’s the thing about media roundtables; you have to have ten questions prepared even if you only get to ask one. It can be nerve racking to be attentive to the questions that are being asked and make sure you don’t ask a question that will elicit the same response he’s giving. When it came time for my turn I took a deep breath and looked Emmy award winning Woody Harrelson in the eye and asked away. And all the nerves went away as I pretended this was a normal conversation. He responded with a thoughtful response that I could easily apply to my career at Ringling College of Art and Design.
After the media roundtable was over Harrelson then spoke to film students about the process of shooting his film and answered any questions they had. It puts things into perspective to talk to someone who is successful in the field you want to go into. It is also motivation to continue working so that maybe one day I’m the one visiting a college imparting my own wisdom to eager college students.
I’m excited to see who will be coming next to the Studio Labs. Until next time, it’s a wrap.
Written by Sydney Anderson, Creative Writing 2020