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“That explains his absence”: Woody Harrelson, Who Played a Mass Murderer in $110M Robert Downey Jr Movie, Was Raised by a Contract-Killer

"That explains his absence": Woody Harrelson, Who Played a Mass Murderer in $110M Robert Downey Jr Movie, Was Raised by a Contract-Killer

Woody Harrelson shocked everyone by playing a mass murderer in Natural Born Killers. The film is one of the most controversial films ever made mainly due to the element of glorifying the actions of serial killers by media and the general public. But Harrelson’s performance was praised by critics and audiences. No one ever believed that someone like Harrelson who up that point had only done comedies and romantic projects would do something as dark and controversial as Natural Born Killers. The film showcased his range as an actor and revealed Harrelson’s darkly comedic and intense side of him.

Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers
Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers

While many appreciated his performance playing a serial killer, there was a sense of familiarity that was personal for Harrelson. For him, It all came back to his father, who was a real-life contract killer and a parent who was not present throughout most of Harrelson’s childhood.

Also read: “It didn’t feel that much to do for me”: Woody Harrelson Refused to Work in Jennifer Lawrence’s Billion Dollar Franchise Twice Before He Changed His Mind

Woody Harrelson’s Father was a Contract Killer Who Was Not Around Much

Woody Harrelson's father Charles Voyde Harrelson
Woody Harrelson’s father Charles Voyde Harrelson

Woody Harrelson‘s stint as a mass murderer in Natural Born Killers was a much-appreciated performance in his career. Shockingly, his father Charles Voyde Harrelson was a real-life contract killer who was famously convicted for killing federal judge John H. Wood Jr. Harrelson talked about how his father was not present for most of his childhood years and he was in and out of prison frequently. He told The Guardian,

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“They separated young, he was not around too much. I think they separated when I was seven. But he was gone a lot before that, in prison. Away and back. Away and back. That explains his absence It wasn’t like he was there all the time prior to that.”

Harrelson further talked about how he tried to help him during his time in prison and also acknowledged that he made peace with his old man and his actions. It is quite eerie to realize such vital personal information about Harrelson that supplements what he plays in Natural Born Killers. But it is his talent and conviction that ultimately led to a compelling performance as a serial killer in a film and not in real life, unlike his father.

Also read: “I was just trying to be a good son”: Woody Harrelson Spent Millions of Dollars For His Father Who Was a Notorious Hitman

Woody Harrelson Had Mixed Feelings About His Father in the Past

Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson grew up in a household that was majorly supported by his mother while his father was not around during his childhood years. Being the son of a convicted felon was a hard pill to swallow for Harrelson. He talked about the mixed feelings he had for his father telling Wayback Machine,


“I don’t feel he was much of a father. He took no valid part in my upbringing. This might sound odd to say about a convicted felon, but my father is one of the most articulate, well-read, charming people I’ve ever known. Still, I’m just now gauging whether he merits my loyalty or friendship. I look at him as someone who could be a friend more than someone who was a father.”

Harrelson recently appeared in the HBO miniseries White House Plumbers which received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences. He is set to star in Project Artemis alongside Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum. He will also appear in the film Suncoast opposite Laura Linney.

Also read: Woody Harrelson Was Not Allowed to Be More “Drunk and Debauched” in Jennifer Lawrence’s Billion Dollar Franchise

Sources: The Guardian, Wayback Machine

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Written by Rahul

Rahul Thokchom is a content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contribute to the richness and creativity in his works.