Woody Harrelson borrows trunks from lifeguards to jump in Heath pond

Movie star can't resist a swim after seeing others enjoying the water

Friday, 8th July — By Dan Carrier

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The Men’s Pond on Hampstead Heath and, inset, movie star Woody Harrelson [Bloodholds/Justin R. Pacheco–Released]

FOR your typical Hollywood A-Lister, getting into a swimsuit and heading for a dip would usually be done in designer togs, worn in swish, marbled surroundings.

But for the famously down-to-earth film idol Woody Harrelson, the natural and unpretentious surroundings of the Hampstead Heath Men’s Pond has proved just fine.

The leading man who graduated from the Cheers pub sitcom to global hit movies including Natural Born Killers, Indecent Proposal and The Hunger Games, enjoyed a break from film work on Tuesday by taking an early morning stroll to Heath.

He watched swimmers in the Men’s Pond take to the water, and decided he wanted a piece of the action.
After paying the entry charge, he was short of a pair of trunks – so borrowed some from a lifeguard and leapt in.

His verdict: Refreshing.

Woody Harrelson in Bourne’s the fishmonger after his swim in the pond

The lifeguards are used to spotting well-known faces, with One Direction singer Harry Styles often enjoying the waters. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and broadcaster Dermot O’Leary are said to be frequent swimmers.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has also taken up cold-water swimming.

A lifeguard, who did not want to be named, said: “He [Woody] came in and borrowed a pair of shorts from us. The pond is a magnet for celebrities, and every time one rocks up, we blank them – that’s our unofficial policy – we don’t want any one to feel hassled or put on if they come here.

“This is a safe space for everyone, and no one gets any special treatment. Woody approached us and was very friendly, polite and nice.”

One swimmer added: “It’s not every day you see a bona fide Hollywood A-lister strolling around in a pair of skimpies up here… though you get a few who think they’re in that bracket.”

And after his dip in the water, currently around the 19 degree mark, Harrelson indulged in another Men’s Pond regulars tradition – he headed down to Swain’s Lane for a restorative cup of coffee.

He told fellow coffee drinkers at the Superette Cafe he had been coming to London for 25 years – but this was his first visit to the Heath.

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