In the wake of the announcement from Bruce Willis’ family that he was retiring from acting due to being diagnosed with aphasia, the Los Angeles Times has published an article where many of his colleagues expressed concerns about his behaviour on film sets in recent years.
Willis has made a large amount of ‘direct-to-video’ movies in the last few years, with some people speculating that he was aware that his time as a working actor was coming to an end and that he wanted to provide financial stability for his family. The actor has five daughters.
The article mentions that he was often paid $2 million for two days’ work. Several filmmakers mention that they were asked to reduce the hours that Willis worked and how many lines he had to say. Elsewhere, it mentions that an actor would be paired with Willis and help feed him lines via an earpiece. One crewmember said; “Someone would give him a line and he didn’t understand what it meant. He was just being puppeted.” Others mentioned that he sometimes seemed confused or lost on set, and couldn’t remember why he was there.
On social media yesterday, many people shared their favourite Bruce Willis movies and roles, as well as showing love for Moonlighting – the television series that launched his career as a huge Hollywood star. 1988’s Die Hard would of course be Willis’ launchpad as an action star, but films such as 1994’s Pulp Fiction showed a different, more dramatic side to him.
Willis has also starred in some of the best science fiction and horror movies of all time, including 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, and The Sixth Sense. M. Night Shyamalan tweeted; “All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. I know his wonderful family is surrounding him with support and strength. He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as kid.” The noir double-bill of 2005’s Sin City and 2006’s Lucky Number Slevin showed yet another side to the actor who had more range than many give him credit for.
If you’re a Willis fan, you may be interested in our guide to the best action movies.