When did Bruce Willis become such a cruel cueball? What movie from the follic deficient film star serves as sign post where he took a turn down Asshole Road?
For a long while, it remained a secret among Hollywood insiders, particularly those unfortunate to find themselves working in front or behind the camera with Willis, how stardom turned him into an increasingly difficult prick. A few years back, a double dose of searing exposure has largely been credited for the reason why his last few movies have become straight to streaming fare. These two portraits put piss poor petulant behavior of Willis on Front Street.
The first came from writer/director Kevin Smith – widely regarded in the industry as one of the nicest people you’ll meet. After the disaster of Cop Out, where Willis really seemed to have hit his stride sleepwalking through a picture, Smith wasn’t shy about sharing how working with Willis was “fucking soul crushing” and recounted how the entitled actor refused to sit for promotional photos for the movie’s poster.
The second reveal of the real Bruce came courtesy of the press junket interview he did while promoting the Academy Award passed over, Red 2. Clips from various interviews gave viewers an eye-opening look at a rude, glib, grouchy old man in a robe making the interview even more unbearable than he claims toiling away at press junkets can be.
I know what I speak of when it comes to these junkets. Years ago, I wrote for the now defunct website, MovieFill.com when I was hired by the slinky, smart minx-on-the-rise Erin Darling (Pop Culture Troublemaker) She’d regularly send me to The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills to cover the movie junkets. It didn’t take long for me to determine Darling was light years ahead of the MovieFill staff.
Darling was already crafting her irresistible snide-as-sexy hosting style. Anytime she was talking shop, bet your ass I listened. It’s impossible to ignore Darling’s easy on the eyes. Undeniable she had wisdom for the ears. Her advice on getting gold from spelunking at a junket: it’s the responsibility of the interviewer to make the piece entertaining without trying to pull focus from the celebrity. The trust there is the celebrity will be a pro and engage in a good interview without being a complete and insufferable asshat for zero reason.
From the clip below, it appears no one told Bruce Willis that part. Or if they did, he characteristically didn’t give a shit. Granted, the interviewer is fair to middling at best, content to lob softballs across the plate, I suspect Out of all of the videos online for the Red 2 press junket in England, it’s this Empire Magazine interview that captures Willis at his most assholeness. But don’t take my word for it. Have a gander yourself.
Watch Willis’s face @0:22 – particularly his eyes – after the very first question, just a simple opening softball about nicknames. You’d think he’d just been asked if his wife likes to be blow sailors in town for Fleet Week. The expression on his immovable mug giving the appearance of a witless, ego-driven maniac contemplating skull fucking the interviewer.
Then get a view of his visage @1:12 when the interview asks Mary Louise Parker – desperately trying to be a sweetheart – a question that has nothing to do with Willis himself. The inner monologue inside that chrome dome of his had to have been priceless.
As for Ms. Louise Parker. Until seeing this clip, I never truly understood what an understated and underrated actress Hollywood has on its hands. Check her out @3:02. Marvel at how this brilliant actress portrays a woman keeping composure while sitting next to Bruce Willis as an ageing, self important, gasbag hellbent on turning a lighthearted interview into a bitter, burning nosediving death ride for no other reason than he knows no one will stop him.
Sure, press junkets are no fun for Bruce. It’s weeks of back breaking work traveling first class to countries all over the world that some people will never be fortunate enough to go. Having to stay in the finest suites a studio marketing budget can buy. Being pampered by frightened assistants that are at his beck and call and are not allowed to look him in the eye or speak until spoken to. It’s not easy eating meals that cost some households a week’s pay.
Think that’s cake? Ok, smart guy. Try sitting for a few hours at a stretch in a completely comfortable chair, wearing a comfy robe that costs at least 3 bills down in the lobby, and undergo answering a lot of the same questions to illicit sound bites to promote the movie you were paid for alternately being stone-faced and dialing-a-smirk through. Yeah, thought so.
Kudos to you Bruce Willis. For being a hero and not allowing that shit heel bastard of a reporter with the offensively upbeat attitude to bully you and make you look like a spineless, gutless chump. Kudos, indeed.
Now go fuck yourself. Bruce Willis. Take your self entitled carcass with the empty soul somewhere far away from the horrible Hollywood spotlight that has done absolutely nothing to improve or enhance your life in the slightest way whatsoever, but rather has whipped you as if a worthless, scurvy, shit-for-brains mongrel dog that had been raised in New Jersey, which you are obviously not as demonstrated by your hilarious riff on hostility.
Because that’s all it was, right? A joke. All anyone had to do was notice the robe to clue in on the gag of Bruce being Bruce: world weary rascally asshole and gift to the acting community and the overall universe at large.
How about this, Bruno? Do everyone a favor. Next time, don’t do the interviews. Skip the whole press junket that’s part and parcel of the paycheck you cashed. Adam Sandler doesn’t do press. You’re certainly a bigger star with more clout than Sandler. Aren’t you, Bruce? Bruce…?
Does anyone else hear that weeping?