Belfast Telegraph

Woody: I said no to Hunger Games

Woody Harrelson has admitted he originally turned down his Hunger Games role.

The Messenger actor plays Haymitch in the movie adaptations of Suzanne Collins' books - a drunk who is tasked with mentoring teens who are forced to battle to the death - but he told Shortlist that when he was first offered the part he said no.

The 51-year-old said: "I said no at first. But the director called me and he said, 'You've got to do this for me, I don't have a second choice.' He was so passionate about it, and I thought, 'Well if you want me to do it that bad, I'll do it.'

"Just one conversation made me throw the dice. That was it, and now I'm part of this incredible franchise."

Woody said of the film series: "It's the first time I've been a part of something that's a hit!"

The actor can be seen in the second instalment, Catching Fire, later this year.

He can currently be seen in new film Now You See Me, in which he is reunited with his Zombieland co-star Jesse Eisenberg.

"He was the reason [I did it], actually," Woody explained. "We met in New York about a year and half ago and had lunch, and he started telling me about this movie. He was attached to it, and he said that I'd be getting a script. I read it and thought it was good, but that my part was, like, nothing. So I started trying to make it a little more interesting with the writers. But Jesse told me about it, and I thought it was a great idea."

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