The everyman action hero is turning out to be the everyday jerk. Sadly folks, Bruce Willis has fans wishing he would just die hard after an interview for his new film, Red 2.
Red 2, the film Bruce should want us to see, is about aging CIA agents that save the day and do the impossible. Just like real life. An aging film star (here’s what guarantees I wont have a career in show business) with a super ego does the impossible, which is convince the viewers he can do all these activities.
I haven’t seen the flick and don’t intend to, which hurts me to say. I love John McClane and I might be the only fan of The Fifth Element, but I’ve broken up with this star.
Bruce Willis is a blockbuster name and makes kick-ass pictures but I fear he’s falling victim to audience alienation. The fans are your bread and butter. This has been my battle cry even before we started this website. You do not piss off the fans. The only exception was William Shatner’s famous “Get a life” quote at a mock-Comic Con on Saturday Night Live.
Unless you are making fun of yourself and pretending to have a huge ego, it isn’t funny. Giving off the vibe that people should just see you because you are a huge star and getting standoffish with interviewers is definitely a negative. So to get specific, in my travels and Internet searches I have discovered two examples of Willis’ dickishness. The first is an interview and the second is from an individual we will discuss many times on this site.
This first bit comes from an interaction with a Magic 105.4 interviewer for the upcoming Red 2.
Incidentally many a high priced actor, Hugh Jackman for example, have popped in and enjoyed their time on Magic.
Back to the issue from which I got sidetracked as it bothers me so. In this awkward and mean-spirited interview Willis insults the interviewer whom is paid an eighth of what Willis used to get for a Seagram’s Wine cooler ad. Interviewer Jamie Edwards paid Willis and his go-with-the-flow costar Mary Louise Parker the ultimate compliment- ACTUALLY SEEING THE MOVIE. Most interviewers at a junket or Larry King never read or see the source material.
Moreover, the days are long and the interviews get monotonous but this guy actually asked decent questions. He didn’t waste time with, “What’s your favorite color,” or, “How was it making a movie?” Edwards asked questions about specific scenes and quoted dialog. Willis has an almost intentional display of disdain for a man he has never met before and mocked the fact that Edwards had seen and claimed to like the film. Well, I hope he was the last one to do so.
The second example that Bruce Willis is a secret “jerk-weed,” as his Die Hard character would say, comes from independent film director Kevin Smith.
Unrelated to the Red 2 premiere, Smith worked with Willis on the ill-fated CopOut. In Smith’s book, Tough Sh*%t, Evening With Specials, and now his podcast Hollywood Babble On the director recounts the horrific tale of working with this retired and extremely dangerous actor.
Full disclosure- Smith, Willis, and myself are all jersey-boys, hence, I want to pull for Willis and believe Smith because we usually stick together (Unless you steal our parking spot. Then we turn on a dime). Smith, whose podcast I regularly listen to, claims that there is a light and dark side to Willis. For this not uncommon analysis to be given by a Star Wars fan cements that Willis is a toolbag. I won’t retell and basically rip off Smith words, I’ll just direct you to his site. This coupled with the most recent interview tells the tale.
We all love or want to love Bruce Willis but he’s tarnishing his image and killing the legacy for us. I find myself looking back at McClane up on the roof and saying to myself, “What would bring him back down to Earth so that I could enjoy this performance? What would be a small negative that could humble Bruce into being a nice guy again?”
For those who never heard “Respect Yourself” or the uninspired harmonica wailings of Bruce Willis, aka Bruno, then you have missed out. Next time Bruce gets too big for his britches, scour YouTube for clips like this one:
Be good to your fans famous people. These are the ticket buyers, the costume wearers, and the franchise bloodlines. They keep you in the business. As I have said before, legitimate interviewers are extensions of these fans. Putting on a show for Leno or Letterman doesn’t excuse sticking it to the little guy. Shape up Bruce. We want to love you, man. Quit making it so hard.
Stay Glued to the Screen
P.S. Check out Kevin Smith and his unique comedic style. A Jersey-boy who done good, his take on Hollywood often gels with ours.