September 25th, 2009
01:35 AM ET

What you talkin' 'bout, Bruce Willis?

I get the feeling that Bruce Willis has hit a mental wall. After so many years in the business, the man has simply run out of patience when it comes to promoting his movies. And I totally get it. Being asked the same questions over and over again must make you a little loopy. But to paraphrase the famous line in “The Godfather II,” “This is the life you have chosen.”

Before heading out to cover the Hollywood premiere of his latest effort, the sci-fi flick, “Surrogates,” I had heard that a few producers and reporters had left in tears after talking to him at the press junket for the film. He was apparently super cranky and squeezing a stress ball repeatedly through the interviews.

Here's an interview Willis did with CNN's JD Cargill:

So I was expecting Russell Crowe-ian levels of testiness. When the moment came though, it was clear his approach this time was: keep grinning, keep walking briskly through the line of reporters, and throw out a few odd thoughts. Here’s our exchange, in its entirety.

Willis: (walking away from the Associated Press reporter on the line before us) “Is this the real AP?” (referring to his microphone insignia) “This looks like it just got glued on someone else’s. Doesn't it? Can we get a shot of this?? You peel it off it says WJ-whatever. ‘I'm from KLOS.’ Last question? (walks away before poor guy can answer) (to CNN)  “That's the brightest light I've seen. Like staring into the sun. Let's go over here, it wasn't that bright over here.”

CNN: “When I think of great sci-fi films with big ideas I think of  Blade Runner and  12 Monkeys.”

Willis: “Yeah, me too.”

CNN: “What’s the big thought provoking idea swirling around this one?”

Willis: “Well, that we should blow the whole world up and start over again, really. And don't you think that's a good idea right now? And while we're talking about it, (to AP guy again) you might want to hold up the mic for this one, while we're talking about it…

CNN: (thinking to myself, “Why do I get the feeling he’s about to go off on a political rant like some feisty, opinionated uncle at Thanksgiving dinner?”)

Willis: “…can someone, any politician, working in Washington today tell any of us American citizens, the taxpayers, over 200 million people, what happened to the 780 billion dollars, because we don't think we're going to get any of it. We now return you to 'Surrogates' already in progress.”

CNN: “This film was based on a graphic novel, what was it about this story that made you want to be involved?”

Willis: “Sex, sex, sex, ‘course they don't have any of that in this film, it’s rated PG-13.”

CNN: “ I know like most of us, you’re a big movie buff, a movie lover. We’re doing a piece on the 70th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz. Do you have a favorite scene?

Willis: “Yes, many of them”

CNN: “Any one in particular?”

Willis: “I like it when they find the Tin Man, give him a little bit of oil. That's how I feel right now.” (walks away)

Then Willis posed for pics with the producers of the film and after a short while returns to the line to talk to Fox News and Canal Plus from France.

Reporter: What was it about the script that made you want to be involved with this film?

Willis: “This was a very weird script, very strange. It actually holds the premise that we should all get together and blow the place up and start over. And it’s never been a more popular idea. Just clear out all the politicians and bankers and start over. Right now I think it's like the fall of Rome. Like three years from now after all the bees are dead, you've heard that story, there's a movie coming out about it. You know what it's called? (pregnant pause) ‘The Bees.’ (walks off to laughter of reporters)

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. TS

    Actually, Surrogate did suck. Just got back from seeing it about a half hour ago.

    September 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Melissa

    Bruce Willis is an amazing actor. He doesn't need to answer questions about his movies...he's proved himself years ago.

    September 27, 2009 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Diane

    I don't blame him for being testy. He must hear the same questions over and over. But there is more going on than movieland fantasies. Terrible and inexcusible things are happening in the world. In the 1960s people were outraged and protesting in the streets and politicians were thrown out of office for being crooks. With corporate greed and our politicians selling out to the corporations, sometimes it seems like the system should be blown up and started over again!

    September 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    He's a pompous, mean-spirited jerk who doesn't like promoting his latest movie because it's not very good. He's well past his prime.

    September 26, 2009 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. James

    Bruce Willis Rocks! I thought the interview was great. I loved his calm and cool demeanor while squeezing the stress ball.

    In regards to raising a mixed family, he is right, it is not for everyone. My exwife are good friends and we do not hold bitterness between each other. Life moves on.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lila

    Bruce Willis is still hot!!!!

    September 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce

    I'll say it again. Both guys in this video are doing a job. Only one is doing it well here. No excuses. You really do have to prove it every day. Or you can work for People Magazine.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BMS

    I don't think he's gone loopy. I agree with the other post...he is not proud of his choice of film. To be a successful actor you have to balance,you have to do studio pictures to survive,and to have ammo to twist the arms of studio execs when you want funding for labors of love that make no money. Almost every actor,unless they have very high integrity..must make the sacrifice and do a popcorn movie so that they can pay bills,and maintain a level of power so they can navigate through the Hollywood studio system efficiently. Its a combination of being ashamed,being tired of having the same questions asked for 20 plus years,and probably having a bad day,that caused this display. The man is over fifty and has been an action star of a couple decades. Even though he has done intelligent work,the questions he tends to get are at best juvenile. It's annoying to have to do press to support a film that you were just doing for a pay check. It messes with your conscience. It puts you in a position where you have to lie to your fans about everything that you stand for. On top of that,you have to deal with the backlash of the fans that love you for your credible work. It's just an annoying position to be in. Bruce is not one to be really chatty with the press anyway. The fact that he probably is not happy with the fact that McCain didn't get in office,nore than likely played into the anarchist type remarks he made about the government and the world at large. This film,and the press junkets he must endure, have unfortunately hit several pressure points for good 'ol Bruce and he is suffering. He will be back to his normal loveable self when he does a film that he really feels proud of. Somehow I think that his tears dried quickly when he wiped them with his 20 million dollar paycheck. Minus the Agent/Manager fees and taxes. He will live. So will we. Bottom line, he is an actor,a famous one. He just flat out didn't feel like being "on" that particular night. Don't judge him too harshly. We ALL would probably react the same way at some point if we were blessed with a career like his. May we all be blessed one day to get tired of the hassels of being wealthy and respected by millions. Its my wish for all of us!

    September 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vicki

    John – "I wish I could meet him". I hope you do too someday and that it's a great experience for you. But I really don't think he'll care anything about meeting you or even give a cr*p if you exist at all. I see him wrinkling up his nose at you like something smells bad and he won't even "honor" you with a glance – notice he didn't think the reporter deserved much eye contact? That's what makes me angry about his attitude. I just don't have any respect for someone like that – megastar or otherwise. Hell, he can afford to at least be gracious for a few hours while doing interviews – even stupid ones. I wanted to hear what the movie was about – but not now and not ever again. BUT I do agree – it's his right to act as he pleases. It's just a shame he chooses to be so egotistical and boorish.

    September 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    I think he's drunk or something.

    September 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I'mjustsayin'

    Oh good grief. I watched the interview twice and tried to find out
    what the problem was. There isn't one. The man was just being honest.

    September 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nenecats Houston

    I enjoy Bruce the most when he appears with Dave Letterman.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Odell

    My opinion is that Bruce has reached a point in his life where he likes acting but doesn't like all the BS involved with it, interviews, appearances, etc. He's been there done that for 30 yrs. I think he's just having fun and mocking the whole media frenzy around him. Leave him alone and let him do what he likes although he's probably at a point in his life where he really doesn't care what people outside family and friends think of him.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Face it, most people who bash him here probably like to watch reality TV, which IS utter garbage. Willis is awesome. I wish I could meet him. He seems more down to earth than most movie stars.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg

    He is not getting loopy. He is getting older. He is starting to think. He is thinking about how things are and getting both pissed off and numb.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Tina

    I'm just glad he didn't say what everybody else in show biz says when they are interviewed... "It's Amazing"... I am so sick of that word... it is really over rated!

    September 25, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  17. DW Holmz

    In an interview not too long ago, Bruce Willis was asked his opinion on some political issue. His response, to paraphrase, was, "I'm an actor, why are you asking me these questions. The least qualified person to ask about politics is an actor..."

    I've had a lot of respect for him after that statement. Too many actors have ruined their reputations in my eyes by espousing political views. They're actors, for God's sake! Many of them have no real world experience other than the jobs they had a as waiters while waiting for their big breaks.

    Anyway, I hope Bruce stays true to his word. Sounds like he's starting to take himself too seriously, too (the former bartender).

    September 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  18. GH

    I agree, the questions some reporters and producers ask are repetitive and inane. But like it or not, actors and directors have to do these junkets to promote their movies. The *movie* - not someone's chidish, self-absorbed oversarcasm. The Willis interview was a toil to read through here, and it sounds like maybe the next junket Willis should join is the GOP's race for 2010, where he'll be right at home with all the rest of the sarcasm spewers. (Anyone notice how much Bruce resembles "Joe the Plumber"? Maybe his next movie should be a story about the guy's life.)

    September 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Cheeco

    holy gees, you people sure like bashing someone once you see others are doing it. Bruce Willis is a good actor. Everyone on the planet is weird, different or flawed. Let's get real. Furthermore, the interviewer here should be accustomed to actors being a little strange. CNN doesn't get my sympathy here. Willis may be in his middle age but he is still working and paying taxes like the rest of us.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  20. HH

    His increasingly cranky demeanor might cause one to wonder about his drinking... seems I recall he was in recovery some years back... sad to witness his toxicity leaking out all over...

    September 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Cheeco

    Bruce Willis is cool. Love his honesty, the world needs more honesty. Reality shows?, they suck. Whatever happened to good acting and superb television shows on tv? Heard Willis' latest movie is excellent, can't wait to see it.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  22. David

    Seems like he needs to take advantage of California Medical Marijuana system.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Marik

    You people are annoyed with Bruce Willis because all of his statements go clearly over your head. You call him a "madman," a "nut," "stupid," "jerk," "brat," you clearly have no idea what he's talking about, so instead of confronting the content of his statements, you label him, baselessly degrade him based on nothing more than the fact that he's smarter than you, and you are jealous. He makes sense, he's got a grasp on the world that many of you will only ever grasp during your last dying breath. To everyone who commented here with mudslinging toward Bruce, open your eyes, wake up, your denial of the reality of your existence and the state of the world is shocking and apparent by statements like, "he's gone off the deep end," and "he's getting loopy" when someone points out that the emperors have no clothes and the wizard of oz is just an illusion. Goodbye. Enjoy your shackles and your cave.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Beasty

    What else should you say to a bunch of lemmings about to willing run off into the Abyss? He just knows that the whole world is going to pieces and all these sheeple are worried about anything and everything insignificant. Good luck folks. You're going to need it.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Mike PM

    Bruce Willis for NJ Governor! Think about it! How much fun would that be????

    September 25, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jason

    Bruce Willis is a pious toad. He is too arrogant to even show any respect for his own work. Does he even care if the movie makes any money, or is he already too rich to care. Maybe the onslaught of reality television is getting too close to his own pocketbook since it appears America would rather watch real people than the same cast of Hollywood elites who could really care less about the rest of us.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  27. mark

    Let's keep our eye on the ball, shall we? BW and this movie will get way more ink because of these interviews than if he'd just done the standard party line nonsense... Was it calculated? Who knows. Bruce has always been a different kind of cat. But trust me, no one shelling out nickels to make this movie is complaining about this story.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. jennifer

    I think Bruce was thrown off right at the initial start of the
    interview when the person interviewing said,
    " maybe we could go see it together."
    Not sure how he read that.....Possibly the interviewer was nervous.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Matt

    Every single interview I see of him, and I have seen many, he is just a total and complete !@#$ to the people interviewing him. He doesn't HAVE to do these press things. Him telling people about it won't get them to go see it any more than they were going to anyway. He is very very rude to people in the service industry too. I know a marrital relative of M. Night Shamaylan and after the Sixth Sense at the party he was treating the waitress and bartender like garbage from what this person's firsthand observation said. And I totally believe it after hearing some of his interviews.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Elizabeth

    Wow. That was like pulling teeth for poor JD.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Amy

    I seriously didn't think he even made movies anymore.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Brandon

    Shocking that he's tired of canned, superficial questions that modern "reporters" seem intent to ask.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  33. teacher from oklahoma

    I'm glad he blew off the cyndicated news junkie – and he made sense to me, the reason he said he felt like the tin man, who as he put it–gets some oil, is because he was stuck and immobilized by all of the media hounds surrounding him. It was a metaphor CNN ..

    September 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  34. JDA

    I think he should have stuck to the root canal he had scheduled rather than doing that interview. He probably would have had a better time.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Dr. AtomicDoom

    HOLY I just watched the video Bruce Willis interview. Okay yeah, Bruce Willis is falling off the deep end. Wowsers...that was a train wreck and a half!!!

    And what's up with that stress ball...? ;D

    September 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Christine

    I like Bruce Willis....I always have. He seems to be real and not projecting a surperior attitude like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who act like they are the only people on earth to have children and are seemingly incensed when their family is photographed, but always seem to be orchestrating photo ops.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Ambergris

    When you're trying to sell your movie, you don't act like a twit. Willis is behaving like a twit.

    Like some other actors, his career is quickly sinking into the mire. The material he's been working with for the past several years has become progressively more indigestible.

    Give him a couple years, and we'll find him playing over the top bad guys in movies based upon comic books.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  38. _aleph_

    It's "SuperMe!" Smarter than most wombats. Able to gripe with a single sylable. And who, disguised as a mere mortal human, supports BW's right to come across as an ass if he chooses to do so!

    September 25, 2009 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  39. cyrena

    he seems like a jerk..what's with the ball? i mean, you're doing an some professionalism/class..sit up straight...stop mumbling...i have a friend who lives in silverton oregon that said bruce willis and billy bob thornton were in town shooting a movie several years back...according to this friend billy bob was super friendly and accomodating to fans regarding signatures etc...bruce willis on the other hand was a snobby jerk...and when someone tried to get a photograph of him..bruce's body guard grabbed the camera and threw it calm down.."this is the life you've chosen"

    September 25, 2009 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  40. Dr. AtomicDoom

    Bruce Willis is a rich movie star...of course he's loopy! Should rich movie stars give their political opinions during an interview about their new movie (or EVER)?! one wants to hear that crap. Should the interviewer ask a question about Wizard of Oz....something that pertains NOTHING to the new movie? NO, that was just as dumb. The interview gets a par for the course at best. 😛

    September 25, 2009 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |


    September 25, 2009 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  42. honestjohninvermont

    What a bunch of stupid questions–can't imagine why the guy puts up with you reporters.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  43. Bill

    A big thank you to Bruce Willis, a man in whom I see myself. Finally a Hollywood celebrity who stands up for what he believes in and lives rather old-school, rather than caving in to the now maddening world full of tech-heavy, reality TV lovin', scarf and mittens wearin', goofy glasses sportin', Starbucks coffee drinkin' twinkle toes!! But I will second him on the DVR – that is definitely technology worth embracing.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  44. Bruce

    Good job JD,

    Really shows your professionalism and ability to stay with it in the face of trying to communicate with whatever his problem is.


    September 25, 2009 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  45. DDRM

    He's the best! Love the honesty!

    September 25, 2009 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  46. George

    C'mon! We love our celebrities a little crazy. Angelina Jolie anyone?

    September 25, 2009 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  47. Debbie

    Dumb questions get dumb answers. Some of these interviewers (including the one cited here) ask the stupidest questions.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  48. Vic

    The more I see the real Bruce, the more I think he is a great actor. His characters are so cool and quick with the "one-liners", but he is a nut job.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  49. Sarah Johnson

    Cuddos to the interviewer in the video clip! He did a great job with that arrogant toad.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  50. Janice

    He chose to be an actor. He did not choose to have to deal with ignorant press people that do ask the same questions over and over. You even hear it during White House press conferences. He is a very intelligent man!

    September 25, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  51. Vicki

    What a total friggin' bratty juvenile-acting ass. So very rude and inconsiderate of those trying to do thier jobs – which unfortunately means having to interact with jerk, pompous actors like Willis. He evidently doesn't care if we see his movie or not. I hope everyone has better things to do than waste another penny on seeing this or any of his future"work".

    September 25, 2009 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  52. kjw

    Sounds like he has an underlying concern/anxiety about the current status of this country and the world, and that all this shallow talk about films etc is annoying him.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  53. Beau

    ...if you think about it, bruce has always been a little "different" (but likeable), add pissed-off american to the mix....

    September 25, 2009 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  54. RMD

    Wow, he seems really disillusioned...and I mean that in the best possible way.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  55. Alice

    He probably watched the news before his interviews and realized, yet again, we are getting screwed by the bankers and the politicians. It makes me mad too!

    September 25, 2009 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  56. DJWhoop

    I agree with JLL, it proabaly is a stupid movie and he's sick to death of talking about it, knowing it's going to get panned. So why not act like a completel tool, make incoherent statements about politcs and the government and give no real answers regarding the movie.
    But it was hilarious to read and see.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  57. timbuk2

    Bruce is bored and quite frankly, boring. @Brian..."one of the funniest interviews I have ever heard"..huh?

    September 25, 2009 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  58. Bubba

    I can't imagine this movie is any good. They must have oiled him up like the Tin Man to get him to act in it in the first place.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  59. Marnie

    I liked him better when he had hair.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  60. Eric

    Reconsider the interview. I dont think its odd at all. Is it related to Surrogates? No. Is it cohesive with a theme? Yes.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  61. Mobius

    Gotta love when Hollywood folks give an HONEST interview and don't spit out what the interviewer wants – just label him as nuts and move on.

    Very nice.

    September 25, 2009 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  62. Brom

    I can understand not liking to do press junkets. I don't imagine that's what he got into acting for. And I can appreciate his realness – he certainly doesn't come across as fake or as pandering to any certain audience. He said what was on his mind, and that's cool. I was, am, and remain a Bruce Willis fan.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  63. Angie

    I love Bruce! (No matter how loopy he may seem!)

    September 25, 2009 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  64. Brian

    Thank you Bruce, that was one of the funniest interviews I have ever read.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  65. JLL

    It probably means this movie sucks. usually when actors act like this its because they don't believe in the product. Its like a self defense mechanism. i like Willis, he has consistently been in some movies I have enjoyed.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  66. LBW

    He is getting loopy. He did a magazine shoot with his new wife that was crazy. His toe nails were painted black.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |

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