Woodrow Tracy Harrelson is an American actor and playwright. His breakout role came in 1985 as bartender Woody Boyd in the television sitcom Cheers. He later became known for his portrayals of Billy Hoyle in White Men Can't Jump , Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers , and Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt . More recent roles include Tallahassee in Zombieland , Capt. Tony Stone in The Messenger , Dave Brown in Rampart , Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games film series , Merritt McKinney in the Now You See Me film series , the Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes , Bill Willoughby in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri , and Tobias Beckett in Solo: A Star Wars Story .Harrelson has been nominated for an Academy Award three times; he was nominated for Best Actor for The People vs.