Yesterday, we learned the sad news that famed actor Bruce Willis was stepping away from acting, as he was diagnosed with aphasia, a cognitive disorder that affects speech, writing, and ability to understand language.
With that being said, it appears that the 67-year-old star had been showing signs for quite sometime leading up to the diagnosis.
According to the Los Angeles Times, over a dozen sources have reported signs of change in Willis.
In recent years, he would have a really difficult time remembering lines, and would be fed lines through an earpiece known as an “earwig.”
A body double would be used in most action scenes, especially the ones that involved a prop gun. On the set of Hard Kill in Cincinnati a couple years back, Willis allegedly fired a prop gun on the wrong cue, according to multiple sources.
No one was hurt, and the movie’s producer claimed it didn’t happen, but others on set were alarmed by the accident.
Another gun incident occurred on the set of Hard Kill back in 2020, when actress Lala Kent, playing Willis’ daughter, was supposed to be protected by his character from villains.
“I’m supposed to think my life is about to end, and then my dad steps in to save the day.”
Willis was supposed to say a line that served as her cue to duck before he fired his gun, but he fired the gun before saying the line, almost seriously injuring or killing Kent.
“Because my back was to him, I wasn’t aware of what was happening behind me. But the first time, it was like, ‘No big deal, let’s reset.'”
Although she reminded director Matt Eskandari to remind Willis about the line, practically the exact same thing happened the next go round.
Eskandari didn’t comment on the occurrence, but multiple sources recalled Kent really shaken up after the accident.
One source said:
“We always made sure no one was in the line of fire when he was handling guns.”
However, the movie’s armorer, Randall Emmett, who was Kent’s former fiancé and co-founder of Emmett/Furla Oasis, who has worked with Willis on 20 movies, denied the incident.
“I fully support Bruce and his family during this challenging time and admire him for his courage in battling this difficult medical condition. Bruce will always be a part of our family.”
Mike Burns, who directed Willis in last year’s movie Out of Death, sent the movie’s screenwriter an alarming email back in June of 2020. He said:
“It looks like we need to knock down Bruce’s page count by about five pages. We also need to abbreviate his dialogue a bit so that there are no monologues, etc.”
Burns, however, wasn’t aware of the seriousness of Willis’ mental condition until he showed up on set to film:
“After the first day of working with Bruce, I could see it firsthand and I realized that there was a bigger issue at stake here and why I had been asked to shorten his lines.”
The director said he was forced to cut all of Willis’ scenes, which was about 25 pages of dialogue, into a single day shoot.
Man, you hate to hear about cognitive struggles, especially from one of your cinematic heroes, but after hearing some of the stories, it’s probably better that Bruce steps away from movies.
His daughter Rumer detailed her father’s retirement in a heartfelt Instagram post: