Woody Harrelson on Not Playing the Stereotypical Villain in ‘Apes’

     July 11, 2017

I absolutely loved everything about director Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s one of those rare and special films that is not only a huge commercial Hollywood blockbuster but also a piece of art. As you watch the film – which opens this weekend in theaters- I promise you’ll feel like I did: like you’re watching real apes on screen. While I could go on and on about Andy Serkis’ amazing performance as Caesar and how he absolutely needs to be recognized come Oscar season, I need to also point out that all the actors involved deserve special mention for delivering outstanding performances including Woody Harrelson as “The Colonel.” Unlike a lot of movies where the antagonist is an afterthought in the writing process, Harrelson delivers a fantastic performance and creates a three-dimensional character that isn’t a stereotypical villain. Trust me, War for the Planet of the Apes is easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year and it absolutely needs to be seen on a movie screen. For more read Matt Golberg’s review.

war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-posterRecently I got to talk with Woody Harrelson about the making of the film. He revealed his memorable moments from filming, how he worked with Matt Reeves to create his character, why he’s less likely to use props while filming in future roles, what he was surprised to learn about motion capture, and so much more.

As most of you know, the sequel finds Caesar (Serkis) on something of a revenge mission against The Colonel (Harrelson), who has amassed a human army at a compound deep in the snow. The film also stars Steve ZahnAmiah MillerKarin KonovalJudy Greer, and Terry Notary.

Check out what Woody Harrelson had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis and some images.

Woody Harrelson:

  • How he doesn’t play a stereotypical villain.
  • How you can understand where his character is coming from.
  • Talks about memorable moments from filming and using props in a scene like drinking coffee.
  • What was he surprised to learn about watching motion capture and Andy Serkis.

Here’s the official synopsis for War for the Planet of the Apes:


Image via 20th Century Fox

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.  After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.  As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

Latest News