In Esquire‘s incredible new profile of actor Woody Harrelson, the subject talks about everything from missing out on the title role in Jerry Maquire to surviving a “brutal dinner” with Donald Trump and Jesse Ventura in 2002. The 58-year-old performer also, apparently, had been smoking so much that the interviewer, Lili Anolik, got a “contact high” from simply being in his presence. As fun as the entire piece is, though, it’s Harrelson’s recollection of that fateful dinner — and what he had to do to endure it — that’s got people talking.
According to Harrelson, Ventura — the former pro-wrestler and Governor of Minnesota — invited him to tag along for a dinner at Trump Tower in 2002. Why? Because the businessman and reality TV star evidently wanted Ventura to be his running mate for the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket. It was a “brutal dinner” that lasted “two and a half hours”:
The fun part was watching Jesse’s moves. It would look like Trump had him pinned, was going to get him to say yes, and then Jesse would slip out at the last second. Now, at a fair table with four people, each person is entitled to 25 percent of the conversation, right? I’d say Melania got about 0.1 percent, maybe. I got about 1 percent. And the governor, Jesse, he got about 3 percent. Trump took the rest. It got so bad I had to go outside and burn one before returning to the monologue monopoly.
That’s right… Harrelson got high in order to put up with having to listen to Trump talk for several hours straight. “I came up through Hollywood, so I’ve seen narcissists,” he explained. “This guy was beyond. It blew my mind.”
As unbearable as listening to Trump speak for so long (and so up close) was, though, Harrelson admitted that the would-be presidential candidate “did say one thing that was interesting.” Specifically, when discussing his worth and the fact that he would die one day, Trump that when he dies, he knew for a fact that his “kids are going to fight over” whatever’s left of his fortunes. “That was the one true statement he made that night,” Harrelson concluded.