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Bruce Willis


Vemsie
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On 31/03/2022 at 15:57, Wiper said:

Really sad news, but for all the talk of him intentionally churning out films for a final payday (completely fair play if so), there's a niggling worry at the back of my mind regarding how much of this was him wanting to do so, and how much was a man with reduced faculties being pushed into working.

 

This was the story I read that brought me here, and some of it just sounds a bit off to me, in terms of his agency/"handler"'s involvement: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-03-30/bruce-willis-aphasia-memory-loss-cognitive-disorder


Yeah, that’s a pretty grim read. Reminds me of the coverage a while back concerning a visibly exhausted Stan Lee signing autographs for hours on end. I expect it was easy enough to sell Willis on making some money before he retired, whereas their real concern was to wring the last drops of cash out of him before he left their books. 

 

 

2 hours ago, Simmy said:

Looking back at interviews from a few years ago you can sense something wasn't quite right :(

 

 

Makes you wonder how gradually this condition has progressed. Would explain why Willis apparently became more unpleasant to work with over time, which people took as arrogance and entitlement, whereas on Die Hard he knew practically all the crew by name. 

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It certainly explains a lot about his performance on Glass, where he genuinely seemed perpetually confused and as if he'd walked in off the street.

 

My wife's grandpa died of Dementia - 30 years older than Willis but still - and reading that article was very reflective of much of our experiences with him in his last decade or so.

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I don't know - bit hard to distinguish a disinterested interview from one he was incapable of engaging in. Here's a video from two years later than that where he seems lively and on form, and perfectly capable of reading the questions upside down which I presume would be rather difficult if his condition was advancing at that point:

 

 

He (or his people) may have ramped up the pace of his cash-in efforts in the last couple of years in response to knowing what was happening but his career was already in steep decline nearly ten years ago - he stopped appearing in films with theatrical releases entirely around 2015. I think that, say, back around 4-5 years ago - when the above videos originated - it's most likely that he was accepting projects because they were all he was being offered, and not yet in a desperate bid to top up the savings.

 

It's obviously very sad what's happened to him now, and also if he's been exploited in any way in the last couple of years, but I think it was a separate earlier (and, of course, more minor) tragedy what happened to his career after the likes of Looper.

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I have to confess that Bruce Willis' later career confuses me a bit, as I don't quite get why he started making all those terrible DTV films. He seems to have started doing this in the late noughties, and switched over more or less permanently to making landfill action films from around 2014, but his career seemed relatively healthy for an aging tough guy actor up until then. If anything, he seemed to be in better shape than most of his eighties and nineties contemporaries, as he had a fair bit of credibility from making films like Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Sixth Sense, etc. He made mostly thrillers and actions films, but it was acknowledged that he was a decent actor too. He seemed primed to make something like Copland or 

 

The last few "proper" films he made were Moonrise Kingdom, Looper, Expendables 2, GI Joe 2, Red 2, and Sin City 2. So a lot of sequels, but some decent films too, and none of them were complete disasters apart from Sin City 2. He seems to have occasionally resurfaced to make more interesting stuff like Motherless Brooklyn. None of it seems like career-killing stuff.

 

The recent announcement of his condition makes a kind of sense, and I guess he could have gotten some kind of diagnosis of his condition around then and decided to cash out while he could, but he seems to have switched almost exclusively to shite around 2014, which seems like a long time ago. You would have thought he could have done better than making DTV action films at that point; if he wanted to just say "fuck it" and reel in as much money as possible, you would have thought a couple of Die Hard sequels would have been more lucrative. Maybe people just didn't want to work with him, as he sounds like he was very difficult around that time.

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2 hours ago, K said:

The recent announcement of his condition makes a kind of sense, and I guess he could have gotten some kind of diagnosis of his condition around then and decided to cash out while he could, but he seems to have switched almost exclusively to shite around 2014, which seems like a long time ago. You would have thought he could have done better than making DTV action films at that point; if he wanted to just say "fuck it" and reel in as much money as possible, you would have thought a couple of Die Hard sequels would have been more lucrative. Maybe people just didn't want to work with him, as he sounds like he was very difficult around that time.

I imagine part of the balance was the relative effort needed for the DTV action shite compared to full blown big movies. He got 1-2 million for a DTV action film and did 2 days work (apparently). 10 of those in a year and he has 20 million and 20 ish days work. Do a Die hard film for 20 million and it is much more filiming commitment plus press junkets and promotional work.

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Yeah, and from what i can see, these DTV are real low effort roles where he's basically just reading off a cue card often just over a telephone communicating with the other actors, rather than face to face acting. It's quite possible that he couldnt manage a full action film, the above isnt going to wash in a die hard film for example.

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It feels almost morbid in saying it, but it would be fascinating to understand more of his decision making over the last 10 years or so. I don't recall when he started being known for being a bit difficult and it may or may not tie-in with his condition, but as @K says, his shift to low-rent stuff was a long time ago now.

 

You have to wonder if people still really wanted him as a leading man, too. Perhaps he was viewed as being outdated, as people like the Rock and Jason Statham became bigger stars and action heroes went back a bit to 'big men with muscles'. 

 

Like I say, it would be interesting to know more about it all. 

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On 10/04/2022 at 00:35, hmm said:

I don't know - bit hard to distinguish a disinterested interview from one he was incapable of engaging in. Here's a video from two years later than that where he seems lively and on form, and perfectly capable of reading the questions upside down which I presume would be rather difficult if his condition was advancing at that point:

 

 

 

Watch that again, it's cut to pieces.

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