Michael Shannon praises Woody Harrelson's performance in 'Rampart'

Posted by · 4:35 pm · November 23rd, 2011

I always love it when Variety gets a bunch of actors to wax on about their colleagues’ work this time of year. There are a bunch of these: Diane Keaton on Sarah Paulson in “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Robert Duvall on Christoph Waltz in “Carnage,” etc.

I was mostly stoked, though, to see that my two favorite performers of the year were featured in one of these capsule assessments, as “Take Shelter” star Michael Shannon was given space to praise Woody Harrelson, whose performance in “Rampart” is easily one of the year’s best.

I actually sat down with Harrelson for about an hour earlier today on the set of his new film, Martin McDonagh’s “Seven Psychopaths.” He ran through a few takes of a scene with Christopher Walken (which he said blew his mind) and then we headed over his trailer for the sit-down.

It’s funny, though, because I actually mentioned Shannon’s performance as particularly amazing this season. Harrelson said he’s been eager to see the film and keeps hearing that kind of praise. I don’t think he was aware of this little item at the time, though.

Anyway, more on all of that when I write the interview up in the near future. For now, here’s Shannon’s take on Harrelson’s latest work:

“Woody just works from the ground up. You get the feeling that every molecule in his body is focused on the task at hand. I’ve never seen somebody be so focused. And obviously going through every single conundrum and contortion that his character is going through and feeling it all very deeply is a beautiful thing to watch. There’s a scene towards the end of the film where his daughters come to visit him after he’s been kicked out of the house, and that’s pretty unforgettable.”

There’s more at Variety, if you want to read through them all. Lots of cool ones to peruse.

If you happen to live in Los Angeles, “Rampart” began its one-week qualifying run today at the Sunset 5 Theater. Do yourself a favor and check it out, because it won’t roll back around until next year.

Meanwhile, check out the recently released trailer for the film below. “Rampart” opens wide on January 27, 2012.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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