Woody Harrelson Reveals He Considered Being a Minister, Was Mentored by Mike Pence

Woody Harrelson discussed the career he almost had as a minister in a recent interview, and his college relationship with Vice President Mike Pence. Harrelson attended Hanover College at the same time as Pence, and even shared some heavy religious conversations with him. He was shockingly close to becoming a minister thanks to Pence's encouragement.

Harrelson is out promoting Zombieland: Double Tap, where he plays a swaggering cowboy type with a heart of gold. This is the kind of character most fans take him for in real life, but he has a philosophical side some do not know about. In a recent episode of the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, he recalled his days of theological study.

"I was supposed to become a minister. I did a sermon when I was 17, and I did another one at Hanover College," Harrelson revealed. "And this is kind of bizarre, but Mike Pence was two years older than me at Hanover and he was kind of the guy that led me through it."

Vice President Pence graduated from Hanover College in 1981, while Harrelson graduated in 1983. However, Harrelson did not want listeners to think that they were friendly, but he was respectful of Pence, even when Maron joked that he must have been "the frightening guy."

"No, not at all. Look, we weren't buddies or anything, but you know he was very religious and he was the guy who headed the thing for students who wanted to do religious things," he explained.

Harrelson went on to explain his journey through religious studies, which led him to disillusionment with spiritual texts, he said. He still has a considerable knowledge of biblical matters, however, and is not disdainful of truly pious people.

Harrelson then recalled the time that his career intersected with Pence's later in life. He described a 2004 political dinner where he spent some uncomfortable time with Donald Trump.

"Jesse Ventura he called me and he says I am coming to New York and I'm having dinner with Trump. He's gonna try and convince me to be his running mate for the 2004 Democratic ticket," he recalled.

Harrelson said that the then real estate mogul Trump was narcissistic and unpleasant even then, speculating that he has a "God Complex."

"It's just that he just wanted to talk about himself and he does continually," he said.

In an interview with Esquire over the summer, Harrelson spoke about that same 2002 dinner, revealing that he actually left the table to smoke marijuana at one point.

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"It got so bad I had to go outside and burn one before returning to the monologue monopoly," he said. "Listen, I came up through Hollywood, so I’ve seen narcissists. This guy was beyond. It blew my mind. He did say one thing that was interesting, though."

Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters now.

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