Following Stallone Feud, Willis "Bored" of Making Action Movies

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by Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
August 13, 2013 1:53 PM
4 Comments
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Bruce Willis

Last week, Sylvester Stallone slammed his once "Expendables" co-star Bruce Willis over Twitter for being "greedy and lazy." Willis reportedly wanted $4 million for four days of shooting the upcoming "Expendables 3," as opposed to the offered $3 million for four days. Now, Willis has said in an interview for Spanish magazine XLS that he's "bored" of doing all those action films. (Willis was promptly replaced by Harrison Ford for the third "Expendables.")

Willis, who has run-and-gunned amid big-screen explosions three times in 2013 ("A Good Day to Die Hard," "G.I. Joe Retaliation" and "Red 2"), elaborates:

"Explosions are one of the most boring parts of my job. When you have seen a few fireballs, it's not exciting anymore. I know part of my audience enjoys the explosions, but to be honest, I’m a bit bored of it now.

"I am very clear with who I am. I work in all sorts of films, but the action movies are the ones that generate the most revenue. I like to earn lots of money from those, but I do all types: small productions, megaprojects, medium sized, even science fiction."

In terms of sci-fi, Willis starred to great effect opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Rian Johnson's "Looper" in 2012. There comes a point in every actor's life where self-loathing is attached to getting paid for big-budget commercial entertainments. Getting paid becomes (whether true or not) a measure of their stardom. Harrison Ford has often said that he does it for the money, that to get him out of his comfortable country manse and onto a physically demanding set is worth a lot to him. Remember, Ford turned down the Michael Douglas role in "Traffic."

Willis of course still worries about his stardom. But how depressing that "Red 2" and the "Expendables" and "Die Hard" franchises are all anyone wants to pay him to do? Willis has done his fair share of Tarantino and indie movies. He should follow Matthew McConaughey's lead and go full indie. These actors, with screen charisma to spare and huge international followings, are capable of so much more than this. Why destroy their souls with this stuff? George Clooney has the right approach: he wants someone to look at his David Thomson Biography of Film entry and think, "he made good movies."
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4 Comments

  • Anne Thompson | August 13, 2013 7:00 PMReply

    It's not at all unusual to make unreasonable demands rather than just saying no: "I won't do something I don't want to do unless you..."

  • John | August 14, 2013 12:53 PM

    It may not be unusual,but it doesn't make it any less stupid.

  • Brian | August 13, 2013 2:54 PMReply

    Willis has had a good run, making films for Sidney Lumet, Brian De Palma, Blake Edwards, Norman Jewison, Alan Rudolph, Robert Benton, Robert Zemeckis, Rob Reiner, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, Walter Hill, Luc Besson, M. Night Shyamalan, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Stephen Frears, Wes Anderson, and Rian Johnson, to name a few. 95 films in 33 years, per IMDB. How many comparable stars have a record like that? He's certainly earned the right to say no to Sylvester Stallone and not get slammed for it.

  • Jon | August 13, 2013 5:56 PM

    It's perfectly fine to decline a role due to genre-fatigue. It's another thing to make unreasonable demands in order to squeeze money out of people who are already being very generous. I mean $3 mil for 4 days of work is an amazing offer even in Hollywood. This just shows he had little to no respect towards Sylvie & the makers of Ex3.

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