American actor Bruce Willis has ended his acting career. The 67-year-old action movie star’s doctors recently discovered aphasia. “The world of cinema not only loses an action hero, but also an excellent actor and one of the universally recognizable characters for many generations around the world,” says Václav Rybář, film publicist at MovieZone and one of the authors of the Action Film Encyclopedia Book.
Bruce Willis ended his career at the age of 67 due to illness. Were you surprised by this news?
No, I would say the official statement was a bit forced by rumors circulating about Willis in recent weeks. When he was nominated for the Golden Raspberries, the amazing Oscar-winning night for the worst movies of the year, people who didn’t take a good look at his career realized that something was up and that Bruce Willis was doing too much. films below average. . It was the last straw that forced the family to make this statement. If it hadn’t been for the Golden Raspberries, we wouldn’t have known about his illness for a few weeks. Additionally, Willis has directed at least five movies this year, which we’ll get to later.
Václav Rybar Photo: Václav Rybář Archive
What loss does this represent for a Hollywood and action film?
Brilliant, Bruce Willis was at an absolute pinnacle in the 1990s, one would easily place him alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, but unlike them he was a star with a much wider reach. He entered the action genre as John McClan, and even then he offered an alternative to muscle heroes. It was the reporter in a tank top, the man of flesh and blood, one of us. But he also acted in other genres and with great success he was a huge star and received big bucks. The world of cinema loses not only an action hero, but also an excellent actor and one of the characters universally recognizable by many generations around the world.
Everyone has Willis connected mostly with action movies from the 80s and 90s, especially the Death Trap series or the movies The Last Scout or 12 Monkeys. Which film do you consider the most important?
That’s a tough question, I’m a big fan of action movies, so the movies you mentioned should be heard, but Willis was able to assert himself in more serious roles, for example, Sixth Sense and other films with director M Night Shyamalan, he has also shown his fans that he can rise above “inferior” action movies and deliver decent performances even in dramas.
What is aphasia?
It is caused by brain damage, such as a stroke, head injury, or cancer. It comes in different forms depending on which part of the brain has been damaged and manifests itself in various ways – from mild speech impairment to complete loss of speech and understanding. The actor’s family does not provide further details on the form of Willis’ disease.
The Sixth Sense was one of his efforts to break out of the action star box and present himself in a different light. Did he succeed?
Bruce loved action movies, but he still had undeniable comedic talent, he proved it in action roles, and John McClane always had a message on his lip that could have devastated his opponent even more than the lead. . He started out in the excellent sitcom Moonlight and had several hit comedies, but audiences mostly wanted an action hero. Although he tried to establish himself in dramas, he still partially returned to events. He is also symbolized by his performance in The Disposable, where he comes across as an action elite alongside Arnold and Sylvester. It was the triptych that for many fans of the 80s and 90s symbolizes the ceiling of the action genre, the best of the best.
What’s behind his acting decline in recent years?
It’s mostly the last two years, and now we know it was because of his illness. It seems like Bruce Willis really tried to make movies on a treadmill to protect himself and his family for years to come. Although there have been rumors for the past few weeks, it has been difficult for reporters and fans to reveal it.
I don’t mean that Bruce Willis was clearly a prima donna, but some time after Death Trap 4 premiered, rumors swirled that he wasn’t easy to get along with. Sometimes he had manners, he didn’t show up for a photo shoot, for example, director Kevin Smith insulted him about how he left, was lined up and had his nose up. Willis then declared in a short scene from the third installment of Disposable by a Million Dollars, an amount that Sylvester Stallone refused to accept as producer. In short, snippets of similar information clung to each other, so when inferior C movies suddenly appeared and Willis didn’t do anything world class, and it was clearly a minimal acting effort to maximum money, fans thought it was just the next phase of his ways. . It occurred to few that there might be a disease.
What does a typical Hollywood action hero look like today?
The image of the action hero is very fragmented, today it can be, for example, Bob Odenkirk in the movie Nobody or Keanu Reaves in the role of John Wick. For most people, he is symbolized primarily by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After all, there’s a small role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2003 Welcome to the Jungle, when the two actors miss each other, and as The Rock goes to the bar, Arnold looks at him and says, “Enjoy it.” At the time, it was seen as an imaginary handover, it took Dwayne Johnson a long time to get to the top and start shooting blockbusters, but he was dirty, he worked hard, and in the end he succeeded.
Comparing Schwarzenegger, Stallon, or Willis, which of the action movie icons still retains their legacy today?
Definitely Stallone, just because the Disposable film series is her spiritual child and pulled her forward. It revived and brought back Rocky and Rambo, who created the Disposable, where people from different streets of the action genre come together in fascinating ways. It’s not just the old guard, but also Jason Statham, who comes from a much more recent era. Also, the fourth part is being shot.
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