Actor Woody Harrelson says he would have been a fool to turn down the Martin McDonagh-directed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is strongly tipped for Oscar glory this year.

Woody Harrelson plays Bill Willoughby, the police chief who becomes the object of a woman’s campaign for justice in the movie.

In the past 18 months, the star who came to prominence the popular TV series Cheers has acted in seven movies. Aside from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, there is the Star Wars spin off, Solo: A Star Wars Story while he made his directorial debut in Lost in London and there are a number of other films also involving the actor who was born in Texas and raised in Ohio.

"I kept thinking: ‘I’ll do this one and then I’ll take a break,’ " he tells The Observer today. "And then another one would come along and I’m greedy for a good role. It’s like Billboards. I’d be a fool to turn that down."

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - written by McDonagh and starring Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand (Fargo) -  has won positive reviews all around and the prize for best screenplay at Venice. The movie has a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination for McDormand, a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role nomination for Rockwell and a Best Film nomination.

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Married for years to Laura Louie and the father of two daughters, Harrelson resides in Maui (Hawaii) where he is neighbour and friend to the singer and actor Willie Nelson.

Harrelson talks of once living in a perpetual weed-induced fog but those days are now over. "Whether it was a San Francisco fog or a London fog, there was always some level of fog going on. But now I want to get my head together. I want to see things clearly, to be aware and sensitive to what’s going on in my life and in the world, although I admit it’s tough sometimes."

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