Film: Rushes

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The Independent Culture
AS IF the Australian shoot for Terrence "Chucklemeister" Malick's forthcoming Second World War flick The Thin Red Line weren't gruelling enough, spare a thought for the crew and cast members who had to share a production with those wacky japesters Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn. The pair took it upon themselves to provide some comic relief with a series of practical jokes. Harrelson kicked off the gags by lining Penn's helmet with freshly chewed gum.

Penn's frankly bizarre retaliation was to have a couple of thousand "Woody Harrelson Day" posters printed up, inviting locals to a day in celebration of the actor. Doubtless to Sean's amusement, a few even turned up. Within hours, Harrelson's rapier wit had dreamt up a riposte. Penn received a night-time phone call from Nick Nolte, a fellow co-star, who told him that he was banged up in a local jail and needed to be bailed out. Penn arrived at the jail to see Nolte behind bars, crying "Help me!" In a particularly inspired flourish. A "prison guard" then pretended to shoot Nolte's "cell mate". How they must have laughed!

Penn's revenge proved to be equally subtle. On the way back from the "jail", he quietly instructed the driver to take a detour before throwing Harrelson out of the car and cheerily telling him to find his own way home.

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