A week back we celebrated the legacy of Bruce Willis on his birthday at Best of Netflix by taking a look at some of his best films available for streaming. However, never did we imagine that a week later, we will be mourning the news of the Die Hard star’s retirement.
Bruce Willis became a pop-cultural icon with his Die Hard franchise. A winner of various awards and accolades, including Golden Globes and Emmys, Bruce Willis became a distinct category in the Razzie Awards.
Known as “Buck-Buck” for his stutter, Willis soon realised how on-stage acting helped with his stutter and this breakthrough changed his life. His job as a private investigator foreshadowed his later roles in Moonlighting and The Last Boy Scout and Willis’ entryway to Hollywood was as a stunt double for Paul Newman in The Verdict.
Willis, who received his first lead role in the 1987 film Blind Date, is arguably most well-known for his reprising role as John McClane in the Die Hard franchise.
While the 66-year-old actor has been a big name in the industry for decades, he was recently diagnosed with aphasia which led him to declare his retirement. Aphasia is a medical condition that can alter and disrupt one’s cognition.
Fans have been heartbroken over the beloved acting veteran “stepping away” from cinema. Probably one of the last genuine entertainers in Hollywood loved for his incomparable swagger and bold self, Willis’ quote rings in our ears, “I have zero interest in performing in films to try to convey any kind of message. My job is to be entertaining.”
To celebrate his career, let us take a look at one of his best films on Netflix, directed by Rian Johnson. Titled Looper, the 2012 film stars Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels etc.
Highly underrated, the film revolves around Willis’ character, Joe, who travels in the past to meet his older self. The film is set in a dystopian future where hitmen can be sent to the past or future by mob bosses to dip their toes into the grimy waters of crime and violence.
The film was a box office success and involved highly misleading face prosthetics to make Gordon-Levitt look convincing as a younger version of Willis. Johnson revealed how the change “kind of freaked Bruce out”.
Willis also called the film the best of his career. He said, “It’s better than anything I’ve ever done. … [director] Rian [Johnson] did an amazing thing.”
Willis showered the director with high praise. “He conceived an original story. He wrote it, sold it, stuck with it, directed it, and finished it. That’s just tough to do in this town. Someone always weasels into the process,” he said, before adding, “That didn’t happen here. And if he never did anything else except that Herculean effort, he’d have made it in the business. Amazing.”
Calling Johnson a “great, great director”, Willis said, “It’s a story people are going to talk about, and see twice. And argue about. I was arguing with myself about the story when I read it the first time.”
Watch Looper on Netflix now.