follows up the hugely successful “2012” with Columbia Pictures’ new horror action-comedy “Zombieland
,” a recent No. 1 hit in the U.S.
Harrelson says that he was impressed by the “Zombieland” script. “Tonally, it rides the line between comedy and the impending danger of the zombies. It's tricky – you have to keep up a level of reality, or it becomes farce, but that presents its own challenges.” 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 planet’s last remaining Twinkies. “When I read the script, the first actor who came to mind was Woody,” says director Ruben Fleischer. “I saw elements in Tallahassee that reminded me of Woody’s character in `Natural Born Killers,’ but with a humor laced through it.”
“What 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, he’s fearless when it comes to his approach to the zombies,” says Harrelson.
“ Tallahassee is childlike, impulsive,” says screenwriter Rhett Reese. “It made such sense to us that the Twinkie would be his greatest desire: it’s a metaphor for the past, a piece of his former life, something he clings to – we all cling to things from our childhood, but he’s clinging to something from the pre-apocalyptic days. Plus, it stays fresh on the shelf for a quite a while.”
Harrelson took on Tallahassee with such relish that he was clearly having a good time. “I guess I just brought out that whole gun toting Republican side of me,” he jokes. “But you know, I love comedy and I love good writing. When I read `Zombieland’ it made me laugh out loud – and that’s a great test with a script. And I just thought it would make the audience laugh, too.”
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.
“Yeah, Tallahassee is this brash guy who just loves shooting the zombies and he teams up with this other guy who isn’t quite so keen on the whole idea of dealing with the zombies. And that’s what makes it funny.”
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 “It’s great to go to work when it’s a playground full of people who keep you laughing all day. And they are so talented and it was a great experience.”
Opening soon across the Philippines , “Zombieland” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.