The Screen Room
Now & Then: Bruce Willis
This week’s Now & Then actor is responsible for one of my favourite films of all time (Die Hard) - it’s Bruce Willis.
One of a dying breed of “action heroes” Bruce Willis has also dabbled in a variety of other genres and established himself as one of the biggest stars of the last 40-50 years.
Walter Bruce Willis shot to fame in the hit 80s tv show “Moonlighting” alongside co-star Cybill Shepherd, a roll he fought off 3000 other budding actors to win.
Three years later he would go on to play the now legendary John McClane (the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time) in the 1988 action masterpiece, Die Hard.
The rest as they say is history.
Before making it as an actor Willis worked a variety of jobs. In the years leading up to his success he was a security guard at a nuclear power plant, a private investigator and a bartender.
As a kid at school he developed a stutter earning him the nickname “Buck-Buck”. He joined the drama club and found that acting on stage reduced his stutter and eventually helped get it under control.
You might’ve noticed in Die Hard especially, that he has a large scar on his right shoulder. It’s a real scar and is a result of surgery he had due to complications from a broken arm when he was 17 years old.
In his personal life Bruce has five daughters. Three with his first wife, actress Demi Moore and two with his current wife, model Emma Heming.
He owns various properties and businesses and is a co-founder of the restaurant franchise Planet Hollywood along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
You may or may not know that Bruce is also a bit of a singer.
He released his debut album “The Return of Bruno” in 1987 and has since released two more albums.
In 2003 he visited Iraq and put on a gig for the troops fighting over there with his band “The Accelerators”.
He even considered joining the military to help fight in the second Iraq war but decided against it due to his age.
As with a lot of actors, Bruce Willis suffered a slump in his career in the early 90s where (in my opinion) he still made some decent films like Striking Distance (1993), but after starring in Pulp Fiction (1994) and Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) he was back!
We’re currently in an era where “movie stars” like Bruce Willis don’t seem to be a thing anymore.
I shared a video recently of Anthony Mackie (Falcon from the Marvel movies) talking about how these days it’s more about the characters in the films than the larger than life actors themselves. It’s true. Dwayne Johnson is probably the only actor of recent years that has that “movie star” status.
These are my top Bruce Willis film recommendations:
Die Hard (1988)
Striking Distance (1993)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The Fifth Element (1997)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Death Wish (2018)
Just realised he’s been in films with the numbers 5, 6, and 7 in (well sort of...) 🤯
Also, is it just me or does he look a bit like Zac Efron in the right hand pic..?
What’s your favourite Bruce Willis Movie? 🤔