follows up the hugely successful â2012â with Columbia Picturesâ new horror action-comedy âZombieland
,â a recent No. 1 hit in the U.S.
Harrelson says that he was impressed by the âZombielandâ script. âTonally, it rides the line between comedy and the impending danger of the zombies. It's tricky â you have to keep up a level of reality, or it becomes farce, but that presents its own challenges.â Plus, his character gets to kick zombie butt. What more could a man ask for?
The Oscar-nominated actor takes on the role of Tallahassee , a man who dies hard and slays harder, a dude ready to slay any zombie that comes between him and the planetâs last remaining Twinkies. âWhen I read the script, the first actor who came to mind was Woody,â says director Ruben Fleischer. âI saw elements in Tallahassee that reminded me of Woodyâs character in `Natural Born Killers,â but with a humor laced through it.â
âWhat I loved about Tallahassee was that he was a guy who essentially lost everything, so he has nothing left to lose, and as a result, heâs fearless when it comes to his approach to the zombies,â says Harrelson.
â Tallahassee is childlike, impulsive,â says screenwriter Rhett Reese. âIt made such sense to us that the Twinkie would be his greatest desire: itâs a metaphor for the past, a piece of his former life, something he clings to â we all cling to things from our childhood, but heâs clinging to something from the pre-apocalyptic days. Plus, it stays fresh on the shelf for a quite a while.â
Harrelson took on Tallahassee with such relish that he was clearly having a good time. âI guess I just brought out that whole gun toting Republican side of me,â he jokes. âBut you know, I love comedy and I love good writing. When I read `Zombielandâ it made me laugh out loud â and thatâs a great test with a script. And I just thought it would make the audience laugh, too.â
In the film, Tallahassee is one of the lucky few to survive an unidentified apocalypse that has turned the vast majority of the population into flesh eating zombies. His partner in the survival business, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is his exact opposite.
âYeah, Tallahassee is this brash guy who just loves shooting the zombies and he teams up with this other guy who isnât quite so keen on the whole idea of dealing with the zombies. And thatâs what makes it funny.â
This unlikely duo manages to find another pair of survivors in this hostile world - Wichita (Emma Stone) and her 12-year-old sister, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Harrelson clearly enjoyed working with such a talented group of younger actors, saying âItâs great to go to work when itâs a playground full of people who keep you laughing all day. And they are so talented and it was a great experience.â
Opening soon across the Philippines , âZombielandâ is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.