Woody Harrelson presents groundbreaking film to Iowa City

Iowa City was the first North American audience to watch Woody Harrelson’s film “Lost in London.”

Alyson Kuennen, News Editor, Photographer

Actor and director Woody Harrelson showed his new film “Lost in London” to an Iowa City audience on Jan. 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union. The comedic film was based on Harrelson’s ludicrous night in London a few years ago and was the first to be broadcast live to cinemas, much like a live theater production.

Although Harrelson “honestly did not know what [he] was thinking” in presenting his film to a Iowa City’s college-dominated town, it was a good idea, both pre and post production to go with the flow.

“There were definitely some things that didn’t go as planned … That’s the wild thing about shooting it live because I love theatre and I want to merge theater and film, so It’s like being on stage,” Harrelson said. “The picture is what it is; as you can see it’s a single camera through the whole thing so there’s no way to [edit]. I guess I could have gone back to edit something we shot before, but that wouldn’t have been honest.”

After filming, Harrelson had a newfound appreciation for directors and their ability to manage stressful complications, such as the one he had just been in. During the production, renowned director of “There Will Be Blood” and “Magnolia”, Paul Thomas Anderson gave Harrelson some much needed advice.

“I was really freaking out and [Anderson] comes down … and says, ‘I know you have a million things that you have to get done that are important [but] you’ve gotta just start with one thing … Start with that one thing and then do another thing. You can’t think to yourself about the pile of six million things that are undone,’” Harrelson said of Anderson. “That was very helpful.”

Harrelson’s “deer in the headlights” moment was worth it however, when he was able to pull off the first film of its kind in cinematic history.

“You guys have been a great audience,” Harrelson said. “It was weird but I liked how it all turned out.”