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Kevin Smith Admits It Was "Soul-Crushing" Working With Bruce Willis On 'Cop Out'

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist January 18, 2011 at 11:52AM

Kevin Smith did have issues with Bruce Willis on the set of "Cop Out," Kevin Smith didn't have issues with Bruce Willis on the set of "Cop Out." Which one is it? In a 2009 interview, the "Clerks" filmmaker called the action star "undirectable," but later qualified that statement with, "I think somebody took that as negative. It's not like, "Ahh, I can't deal with him!" It's just how do you direct Bruce Willis to play Bruce Willis? I can direct Jason Mewes to play Jay. I can direct Affleck to play a fucking angel — or to kill his career as a grieving father. But I can't fucking tell Bruce Willis how to be Bruce Willis — cause he's fucking Bruce Willis!"
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Kevin Smith did have issues with Bruce Willis on the set of "Cop Out," Kevin Smith didn't have issues with Bruce Willis on the set of "Cop Out." Which one is it? In a 2009 interview, the "Clerks" filmmaker called the action star "undirectable," but later qualified that statement with, "I think somebody took that as negative. It's not like, "Ahh, I can't deal with him!" It's just how do you direct Bruce Willis to play Bruce Willis? I can direct Jason Mewes to play Jay. I can direct Affleck to play a fucking angel — or to kill his career as a grieving father. But I can't fucking tell Bruce Willis how to be Bruce Willis — cause he's fucking Bruce Willis!"

Fair enough, but in a very recent interview on Marc Maron’s podcast (via Film Drunk), Smith was singing a completely different tune and essentially let his true feeling fly uncensored.

"It was difficult," he said of working with Willis. "I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where, one component is not in the box at all. It was fucking soul crushing. I mean, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him.’ No, but I had no fucking help from this dude whatsoever.”

In the earlier interview, Smith basically called out the actor by name, saying one person was easy to work with on the film and it wasn't Willis. "Tracy Morgan, I would lay down in traffic for. Were it not for Tracy, I might’ve killed myself or someone else in the making of that movie.”

So why did Smith take the "Cop Out" film director's gig when Warner Brothers offered it to him in the first place, from a screenplay he hadn't written? “I needed to see marketing from the inside for some shit I got comin up,” he said. Hey, again, fair enough, we're not gonna judge there and frankly, we're pleased Smith is being candid with his thoughts on Willis. Now, let's put all these beefs behind us. "Red State," his upcoming American-set horror looks pretty good based upon the teaser trailer we've seen. Maybe this is Smith's new calling.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Cop Out, Bruce Willis


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