Woody Harrelson on Larry Flynt: 'I've never met a more honest man'

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

As of Thursday morning, Woody Harrelson had not yet made any public statement on the death of Larry Flynt. Harrelson famously earned an Oscar nomination for playing the Hustler magazine founder and First Amendment champion in Miloš Forman's 1996 biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt. (In typical Harrelson fashion, his only Instagram post in the last 24 hours is a PSA against kangaroo hunting in Australia.)

But Harrelson honestly shared his thoughts about the controversial magazine tycoon, who died Wednesday from heart failure at age 78, during a 2017 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment. The Cheers and White Men Can't Jump alum, now 59, admired Flynt, even though Harrelson didn't necessarily approve of the publisher's magazine content. When Flynt wasn’t invited to the Academy Awards after Harrelson scored his Best Actor nomination, the actor invited the publisher along as a plus one.

BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 6: Larry Flynt and his wife Althea Flynt.They met Larry at age 17 in 1971, when she applied for a job as a go-go dancer at his Hustler club in Columbus, Ohio. They were married on August 21, 1976.Flynt died at aged 33 when she drowned in the bathtub at the couple's Bel-Air mansion in Los Angeles, photographed at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California June 6, 1985 ( Photo by Paul Harris/Getty Images )
BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 6: Larry Flynt and his wife Althea Flynt. ( Photo by Paul Harris/Getty Images )

"I really came to like him, I don't think I would've been much into doing the movie if I hadn't come to respect Larry," said Harrelson, who earned his first of three Academy Awards nominations for the film, which chronicles 35 years of Flynt’s life, from his impoverished Kentucky upbringing to the landmark United States Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

"I don’t respect much the pornography part of what he does, but what he is as a person, and the rebel that he is."

At the time of our interview, Harrelson was particularly proud of Flynt’s efforts against then-President Donald Trump. In October 2017, the publisher offered a $10 million bounty "for information leading the impeachment and removal from office of Donald J. Trump."

"Even what he did recently offering $10 million for any information leading to the impeachment of our so-called president, I thought was pretty cool," Harrelson said. "I've never met a more honest man who just says exactly what he's feeling at any moment. We had a good relationship, and still do."

Watch our full Role Recall interview:

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