LOS ANGELES – Woody Harrelson is likening a paparazzo he tussled with at a New York airport to one of the undead zombies he battles in his upcoming film.
In a statement released Friday, Harrelson jokingly compares the scrutiny of the paparazzi to the packs of undead he confronted in "Zombieland."
"I wrapped a movie called `Zombieland,' in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," Harrelson said. "With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie."
Celebrity gossip site TMZ posted a video on Thursday of Harrelson chasing one of their photographers who followed the actor and his 12-year-old daughter through LaGuardia Airport. TMZ said Harrelson broke the photographer's main camera, and the paparazzo is heard repeatedly accusing Harrelson of assault — while he continued to follow the actor.
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Another video shows the photographer asking Harrelson whether he is wearing hemp pants, and at another point mocking the actor for his role in "White Men Can't Jump."
Police took a report from the cameraman, who claimed Harrelson pushed a camera into his face. The man declined medical treatment, according to Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico. Harrelson was not at the scene by the time police arrived, he said.
Harrelson, 47, has had run-ins with TMZ before. In 2006, TMZ photographer Josh Levine accused the Academy Award-nominated actor of choking him and breaking his camera in Los Angeles. Levine sued Harrelson in Los Angeles Superior Court. Harrelson is seeking to have the case dismissed.
Harrelson was nominated for best actor for his role in "The People vs. Larry Flynt," and recent screen credits include "No Country for Old Men" and "Seven Pounds."