The 43-year-old actor plays an FBI agent in After the Sunset, which opens on Nov. 12
SI: You've been in Wildcats, White Men Can't Jump and To the Bone. What makes a good sports movie?
Harrelson: You have to have a balance between the sport and what's going in the character's life. Too much of one or the other can sink a sports film.
SI: You also costarred in Kingpin (below). What are the ingredients for a great bowling movie?
Harrelson: Well, it helps to have the Farrelly Brothers.
SI: Ron Shelton, who directed you in White Men Can't Jump, told SI that when it comes to basketball, you're a slow white guy who knows how to play the game. Is that an accurate scouting report?
Harrelson: I am sneaky slow, but I do love the game. I still play as much as I can.
SI: After White Men everyone on the court must have wanted a piece of you, right?
Harrelson: That was the worst thing about the movie for me. Every time I went to play, the expectation was so high, I couldn't handle the pressure. I'd play terrible. I wasn't in the zone, as [his character] Billy Hoyle would say.
SI: What's your take on athletes who smoke marijuana?
Harrelson: When it comes to [testing for] performance-enhancing drugs, maybe [the leagues] have an ethical leg to stand on. But for someone wanting to recreate, I think it's no worse for you than drinking or smoking cigarettes, or certainly pharmaceuticals.
SI: Is there a real sports figure you'd like to play?
Harrelson: Bill Lee. The Spaceman. I've spent five years not doing movies, so I'm just getting back to the game. But down the line I'll be playing Bill Lee. At least I hope to.
SI: How would your old Cheers boss and ex--Red Sox reliever, Sam Malone, have celebrated Boston's World Series win?
Harrelson: He would be very happy. And he would be partying to the wee-smalls. --Richard Deitsch