Woody Harrelson is the kind of actor who elevates the projects he joins. Whether it is in a starring role like in True Detective or a supporting role in a smaller film such as The Edge of Seventeen, Woody Harrelson always brings a lot to his characters. He is also becoming increasingly known for his work on big blockbusters like The Hunger Games franchise or War for the Planet of the Apes. His next appearance in a blockbuster film will come in the biggest franchise of them all as he takes on the role of Han Solo's mentor in Solo: A Star Wars Story. That immediately seems like perfect casting without even knowing much about the character. But Woody Harrelson almost passed on the role because of his family. He explained:
I brought it up to my family -- they didn't want me doing it. They wanted me to come home, and understandably. I did turn it down. Then I did end up doing it. And I'm glad, because the friendships I've formed now [on the movie], I can't imagine not knowing these guys.
You might guess that an actor's family would want them to be in such a beloved and storied franchise. For countless people, just the chance to be a feature film actor is a dream come true. Regardless, filmmaking in general involves long hours and a lot of time spent away from family, and for big budget tentpole films this is doubly true. Woody Harrelson is in a lot of movies, both big and small. For a guy previously known for smoking as much as acting he sure is a workaholic. So it is understandable that his family would want him to turn down the role, and he initially did say no. Still, just like what happened with The Hunger Games, he turned it down only to eventually be talked into it. For a film his family didn't want him to do and one that was plagued with behind-the scenes-troubles and tons of reshoots, Harrelson very easily could have regretted his involvement. It's good to hear that, as he told the Toronto Sun, despite his initial reluctance, he is still glad he took the part.
We still don't know much about Woody Harrelson's role in Solo: A Star Wars Story, other than he plays Beckett, a criminal who acts as a sort of mentor to the young Han Solo. Woody Harrelson played a disillusioned mentor in The Hunger Games films and he seems perfectly suited to a similar role as a scoundrel with a heart of gold in a galaxy far, far away. You can see Woody Harrelson in theaters in LBJ and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.