Suffering from aphasia, Bruce Willis retires. For several years, the declining health of the star worried his collaborators on the set.
Bruce Willis: suffering from aphasia, the star is retiring
This Wednesday, March 30, the family of Bruce Willis announced that the actor retires from film sets. The actor suffers from aphasia, a condition caused by brain damage. This pathology is characterized by a communication disorder, ranging from difficulty finding words to a complete inability to speak. In their joint statement, his relatives explained:
To the amazing Bruce fans, as a family, we wanted to let you know that our beloved Bruce has had health issues and was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. Because of this, Bruce walks away from the career that meant so much to him. This is a truly difficult time for our family and we are grateful for your continued love, compassion and support. (…) As Bruce always says, “Make the most of it” and together we plan to do that.
More and more complicated shoots
In recent years, Bruce Willis has multiplied unmemorable projects in order to save enough money, especially on treatment costs. The actor appeared in dozens of Direct To Video of The Prince at Apex, Passing by First Kill. the Los Angeles Times reveals that several directors of these recent feature films have worried about the health of the actor.
In an email from June 2020, Mike Burns asks screenwriter Bill Lawrence to reduce his lines of dialogue in out of death. The director writes, without specifying the reasons for these changes:
We need to reduce Bruce’s page count to five. We also have to abbreviate his dialogues so that there is no monologue.
In recent years, many employees have noticed the decrease in the cognitive abilities of the star, as well as his difficulties in remembering his text. When he found the actor last fall to shoot The Wrong Place, Mike Burns shares his fears. One of the actor’s collaborators tries to reassure him by telling him that his condition has improved, but the filmmaker finally finds the opposite:
I didn’t think he was better, I thought it was worse than before. After I finished the movie, I said, ‘I’m done. I don’t want to do another film with Bruce Willis’. I’m relieved he’s retiring.
A situation that could have turned into a tragedy
On the set of Open Source released in 2020, Bruce Willis fires a loaded gun without giving the signal. While the comedian is supposed to warn his playmate Lala Kent to dodge the shot, he forgets to recite his line to warn her and fires. At the next take, the same incident occurs. Fortunately, No one is hurt, but the situation logically upsets the actress. Afterward, the team takes action, as one of its members explained:
We have always made sure that no one is in his line of fire when handling firearms.
Someone was giving him a line of dialogue and he didn’t understand what it meant. We guided him completely.