The following is an exchange in an interview with Barbara Walters :

Walters quotes from a magazine article :
"Now with his advocacy of industrial hemp and his embrace of new age spiritualism, there is a good chance he will inherit the title of ultimate Hollywood flake."
Harrelson : (laughs) Why I don't know how I can inherit a title that's already mine -- rightfully so.
Walters : (laughs) You think you're a flake?
Harrelson : Well no, but I understand that to be the perception.

-- What they said about Woody --

Complex? ill-understood ? Woody's environmental activism, acts of civil disobediance, dark family history, controversial films and unconventional beliefs together make Woody a fascinating, enigmatic figure, as well as an easy target of sensationalist journalism.

Cheers costar Kirstie Alley at the recent premiere of Welcome to Sarajevo :
"I know Woody really well, and I know that he really believes in helping people, you know, and I think that this is probably the way he's doing it, through his art. If you knew Woody, you would know that Woody is a fighter, you know. I mean, he fights for what he believes in. He's definitely -- he's a freedom fighter kind of a guy."

Director Michael Cimino on why he chose Woody to play the wealthy doctor in Sunchaser :
"For one thing, Woody`s studied chemistry. Unlike a lot of people, he can actually pronounce deoxyribonucleic acid. And he has absolute physical courage. We were on a mountain top at 14,000 feet, and I found him doing a handstand on a narrow ledge. I said, "Wood! You could`ve gotten killed." He just smiled and said, "It's not my time, man."

Political consultant James Carville, who has a cameo as a prosecutor in Larry Flynt on Woody's activism :
"It's unusual if an actor doesn't have a cause, but Woody's passionate and studied about this hemp thing."

Kingpin co-star Vanessa Angel on what it was like working with Woody :
"He's a very interesting guy, actually. He's like two different people in a way. He has this really light-hearted, fun, quick-witted side, and he's also quite moody and deep. He has very strong convictions about things. You don't want to eat a bacon sandwich around him, (laughs) he'll give you a 20 minute lecture about how you shouldn't eat meat. So he's very interesting. He's hard to get close to. But he's also great to work with and he works very spontaneously."

Natural Born Killers director Oliver Stone on casting Woody as Mickey Knox :
"I love Woody, but he's a little crazy, and you need that in a Mickey."

Flynt costar Edward Norton on how Woody works creatively :
"Woody has a willingness to stay fluid and let a scene take unexpected shape."

Flynt director Milos Forman on how Woody and Courtney Love improvised scenes between them :
"During the rehearsals, before we started shooting, I discovered that I was so lucky that both of these people - Woody and Courtney - have this rare talent to improvise, not as Woody and Courtney, but as Larry and Althea. I would have been stupid not to encourage that, because that way you can get these unrepeatable moments of truth."

( Forman gave as examples the marriage proposal scene and the hottub scene in which Althea tries to convince Flynt that he should not be baptised. )

"They know what the scene is about and what they have to say, but then I let them improvise and let them say it in their own words, which will come out spontaneously. Like in the scene when she is asking Larry Flynt to marry her. Or the scene when she is trying to convince him that he shouldn't get baptized, that he shouldn't meddle with religion. They succeeded perfectly to improvise."

Forman on the casting of Woody as Larry Flynt :
"I got five names and Woody Harrelson was on the list, but I didn't know Woody. I never saw him on television, and the only film I saw him in, "Indecent Proposal", was not very convincing to me. So I agreed to send the script to the two first names on the list, Tom Hanks and Bill Murray. Fortunately, they turned it down. Then I asked for a meeting with Woody. We had dinner together, and I was sold on Woody from the first meeting. I liked him enormously."

Brother Brett Harrelson, watching Woody scale the Golden Gate Bridge with other environmental activists to protest the logging of the Headwaters Complex, said this was far from a publicity stunt :
"Woody doesn't put on a fake mask. He's up there for exactly what he's promoting. There's not a trick up his sleeve."

In Woody's Own words

"I feel that, once upon a time I wanted to be rich and famous just for the sake of it and getting a nice table at a restaurant, but ultimately I realised it's got to be for something more. There's nothing I feel more passionate about than Mother Nature, particularly when I see ancient trees being cut down for lawn furniture. That just blows my mind. This is the last stand, somebody's got to do something about it. There's a lot of people more active than I am, I'm just more high profile. I'm prepared to go to jail, it still might happen. It's a fight we're going to keep fighting."

Admitting that the scaling of Golden Gate Bridge stunt was at least a little crazy :
"I guess all of us up here are a little crazy, but also passionate and committed."

"I've found that every time you stand up for something and open your mouth, you alienate someone. What is important to me is my connection with family and friends, and to nature, and to stand up for what I believe in. It really makes you feel good to follow through with your convictions."

"One of the meanings of compassion is shared pain, so let's all share our pain." - after a particularly hard stretch in a yoga class he led.

"There's a lot more to my three-dimensional self here than there is to my two-dimensional self [on screen]. Remember why we're here." - after letting a fan have her picture taken with him outside the Hall of Justice in S.F., where he faced charges over the Golden Gate Bridge protest.

"What's a more important risk than standing up for what you believe in?" - commenting on his tendency to be politically outspoken. (Source : New York's Daily News)

Letter from Woody appearing in the commentary page of the Lexington Herald-Leader, following his visit with other industrial hemp colleagues to Simpsonville Elementary in May '96. A complaint by D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse and Resistance Education) officer Deputy Audry Yaeger led to the scrutiny of teacher Donna Cockrel by the school board.

"I am concerned that my visit has generated a good deal of controversy ... I came away from my time with [Cockrel] wishing that I had had a teacher with as much energy, passion and dedication ... To have her job on the line because she took the time to educate her students [about industrial hemp] is absurd."

"... I feel it is very important to tell Deputy Yaeger that I do not consider her and the people she represents my enemy. Many times I have wished for a person like Yaeger, who stands up for what she believes in and fights for her children's future, to be a part of the industrial hemp renaissance. Should we contribute to this sea of enmity, this taking sides and name-calling? Or should we perhaps sit down together over a meal and try to forge an understanding ..."

From CNN article :

Harrelson tackles 'Flynt' role with gusto
January 1, 1997
From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester

Bringing the story of porn publisher Larry Flynt to the big screen was not Woody Harrelson's idea of a moral or artistic triumph, until he delved into the Flynt file.

"When I was preparing for this role, I had to go back through tons of these old Hustlers," Harrelson says. "I would look at these Hustlers and go, 'I remember that picture; I remember being very turned on by this when I was 16.'"

But despite his admiration for Flynt's ability to get his adolescent hormones raging with sexually explicit photographs, Harrelson was less than excited about the man himself.

Harrelson's negative opinion of Flynt, and a reluctance to take the part, had its roots in Harrelson's boyhood home of Lebanon, Ohio. The conservative community lies in close proximity to Cincinnati, where Flynt's obscenity trial took place. Community sentiment ran deeply against the Hustler magnate.

But once Harrelson was convinced to star in "The People vs. Larry Flynt," he could not help but make it a family affair. Brother Brett was called in to play Flynt's brother in the movie. Harrelson talks up his brother's talent, saying Brett is on the rise while his own career is currently a bit lackluster.

The truth, though, is that Harrelson's career is on the move, with rave reviews coming in for "The People vs. Larry Flynt." Both Harrelson and co-star Courtney Love are picking up favorable notices. Harrelson has even picked up a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.

But acting is no bowl of cherries for Harrelson, regardless of the results.

"I've never been able to understand the distinction between 'you're gonna cry in this scene' and 'cut, well that's it,'" admits Harrelson. "I'm still like, 'Oh my God, everything is dark and mad and violent'; it doesn't leave my head."

"If the people lead, the leaders will follow"
Woody Harrelson

pearly gates