Woody Harrelson must have some of Hollywood’s most insane stories in his back pocket. The raconteur pulled out one such anecdote about his friend Michael J. Fox at the 2022 Governors Awards, where Fox was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award honorary Oscar for his work with Parkinson’s disease.
Harrelson had some kind words about Fox’s work, saying that “he never asked for the role of Parkinson’s advocate, but it is his best performance,” and that the actor “sets the ultimate example of how to fight and how to live.”
Speaking of living, Harrelson shared a saucy story about visiting Fox in Thailand while he was filming 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.”
The pair ran off, Harrelson recalled, and when he went to follow them, “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.”
“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,” Harrelson joked. “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.”
“Drinking the cobra blood is called ‘becoming brother to the snake,’” the Hunger Games star explained. “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.”
Despite not having the stomach for cobra blood, Fox was nevertheless gracious about his friend’s ribbing. “I love you,” he said when he came to the stage to accept the award. “We did some damage. We did some damage in the ’80s.”