IN THAILAND IN THE LATE 1980s, WHILE FOX WAS SHOOTING 'CASUALTIES OF WAR' - DRANK SNAKE COCKTAILS WITH COBRA BLOOD
Woody Harrelson honored Michael J. Fox at the 13th Governors Awards this past Saturday in Los Angeles. Fox was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which is awarded to an "individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry." Here's a breakdown of Harrelson's on-stage story via MovieMaker's Margeaux Sippell:
But of the honorees, only Michael J. Fox has tasted cobra blood. It happened in the late 1980s, as Harrelson visited Fox in Thailand, where Fox was shooting the 1989 Brian De Palma Vietnam War drama Casualties of War.
“One night, Mike took us to the end of the jungle, and we stopped at this little hut, and Mike, you know, ran out of the car, this kid runs up to him, and he hands him like thousands of [Thai] baht, which probably amounted to about $16,” Harrelson said.
Suddenly, Harrelson saw something he didn’t expect.
“I couldn’t believe it. I look in there and Mike is sitting next to this kid with dozens of cobras all around them ready to strike and—no jest—and the kid was toying with these cobras,” Harrelson recalled. “He taunted a bunch of these cobras and then he found the orneriest cobra, grabbed it by the neck, threw it in a cage with a mongoose, where I saw the craziest fight I’ve ever seen between any animals other than studio executives—you guys know I’m kidding.”
Woody Harrelson continued.
“And the mongoose won, they took the snake, tied it by its tail, ran the blood out, half-filled four glasses with cobra blood and half with Thai whiskey,” he said. “Drinking the cobra blood is called ‘becoming brother to the snake. … Mike and I drink lots of things together and he can hold his own—what can I say, he’s Canadian. But Mike promptly vomited his snake cocktail. Never could hold his cobra blood.”
You can watch Woody Harrelson tell the Michael J. Fox cobra blood story here or above.
But seriously, folks: Harrelson also noted that Fox, who has spent years advocating for greater research for people with Parkinson’s, “never asked for the role of Parkinson’s advocate, but it is his best performance.” He added that his friend “sets the ultimate example of how to fight and how to live.”
Fox seemed to enjoy it all.
“I love you,” he told Harrelson as he accepted the award. “We did some damage. We did some damage in the ’80s.”
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