Woody Harrelson has seen a few things over the course of his long and varied career but one story he hasn't told before is about the time he sat down for dinner with Donald Trump.
Speaking to Esquire ahead of the long-awaited release of horror comedy Zombieland: Double Tap, the star of Cheers, Natural Born Killers and True Detective recounted his "brutal" evening with the current occupant of the Oval Office way back in 2002.
The actor had been invited along to Trump Tower in Manhattan as the guest of former wrestler Jesse Ventura, the governor of Minnesota at the time.
So Jesse Ventura is a buddy of mine and he called me up - and this is in, oh, 2002 - and said, ‘Donald Trump is going to try to convince me to be his running mate for the Democratic ticket in 2004. Will you be my date?’
I said, ‘Yeah, man.’
So we all met at Trump Tower, sat down. Melania was there, only she wasn’t his wife yet. And it was, let me tell you, a brutal dinner. Two and a half hours.
Harrelson goes on to recount the tale of one of the most boring evenings of his life, with Trump - then still known as a luxury real estate magnate rather than a reality TV star or politician - blustering and holding court in the style we have since become accustomed to.
The fun part was watching Jesse’s moves. It would look like Trump had him pinned, was going to get him to say yes, and then Jesse would slip out at the last second.
Now, at a fair table with four people, each person is entitled to 25 per cent of the conversation, right? I’d say Melania got about 0.1 per cent, maybe. I got about 1 per cent. And the governor, Jesse, he got about 3 per cent. Trump took the rest.
It got so bad I had to go outside and burn one before returning to the monologue monopoly.
Harrelson has long lobbied for the legalisation of marijuana and is famous for wear clothing made of hemp so can hardly have needed much persuading to light up a joint but that certainly sounds like as good an excuse as any.
The actor explained he “came up through Hollywood” and has “seen narcissists” before but stressed Trump was “beyond” anything he'd previously experienced.
It blew my mind... He did say one thing that was interesting, though. He said, ‘You know, I’m worth four billion dollars,’ or maybe he said five billion dollars – one of those numbers, I forget.
Anyway, he said, ‘I’m worth however many billion dollars. But when I die, no matter how much it is, I know my kids are going to fight over it.’
That was the one true statement he made that night, and I thought, 'Okay, yeah, that’s pretty cool.'