Hollywood actor Bruce Willis talks about his cop movies, his latest action flick Cop Out, retiring from music and being an action star.
Your latest film, Cop Out, is yet another cop comedy. This sub genre of comic cop films has become quite a hit, what are your views about them?
You can ask (director) Kevin (Smith) that. But I don’t think we ever really thought of it as, ‘Ok we are making a cop buddy movie’. I love doing Cop films and I guess audience connects to me as a Cop. I know what you mean by those films, but I never felt like we were making those. Our job is to make you laugh. We’re trying as hard as we can to do that.
Are there any other action heroes whose work you really like?
Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry was fantastic. When I was an aspiring actor he was my inspiration.
Are you aware of any action star in India?
Not that I can remember. But I think Amitabh Bachchan is one of the finest actors the Indian Film industry has; he’s brilliant.
The Expendables brings you, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone together. How was the experience?
It’s too early to say anything about that film at this point of time.
You’ve reached a level of excellence in your skill, where you don’t need to prove yourself anymore, where as many younger actors have to. Does jealousy as you get older dissipate?
I think the longer you stay in this industry, everybody finds their own little niche and you can build your own little kingdom, your own world. Sometimes, you get to do some films; sometimes you get to do others. Some people never make the cut, some fall off, but I don’t see a lot of people really being jealous.
What do you think of the typical cop character?
I’m sick of playing cops, that’s why I wanted to do a film that was just about funny cops. Because there’s only so many times you can run down the road with two guns in your hand, screaming and take it seriously. But these films, cop action or cop buddy comedies, have been around for too long. They used to call them westerns, then Second World War movies, then it was gangster films, or cop pictures after The French Connection. It’s about a couple of guys that stand between the good and the bad guys. It’s a version, I guess.
Are people surprised at your comic timing since you’re better known for your tough guy persona?
Yea, only those people who forget that I have worked in television for five years. I was funny everyday; that was my job. But people have short memories. I was funny one time in Sixth Sense too and then there was that one time in Die Hard when I made someone laugh.
I know, but I’m just asking about the general perception. Are people surprised?
No, they just say congratulations.
What kind of actors make you laugh?
There are actors that can, just out of nowhere. You can be having a conversation and all of a sudden they just say something out of the blue that is so off topic and so not what we were talking about, that it cracks you up.
Can you name anybody?
Yeah, Tracy Morgan.
You haven’t done a music performance in a long time?
Too busy being happy. I play a little. I sit in with the Allman Brothers Band once in a while, but I’m not playing nearly as much as I used to.
Do you still enjoy acting?
I think so. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less. But I still like trying to make sense from 110 typewritten pages of words that try to be funny. In this case the funny ideas weren’t always in the script, things get away from you, it’s tricky finding the hook.
Do you know when something is not working?
Yeah. If you take a detour and come back to what the scene is, you feel like you’ve done your job.
Do you plan on going back to television at any point?
Hmmm… Have not yet thought about getting back to TV, but it may be fun.
Didn’t you ever want to enter politics, like a few of your colleagues have tried to do?
No, not really.
You also have a film production company of your own. What’s the plan there?
Plan of action will be to try and make good cinema (Laughs).
Is there ever an insecurity working with another action hero in a movie?
People get insecure if they are not confident about themselves. I think health competition is always good.
Apparently, Jamie Foxx has joined you over the Kane and Lynch movie...
The principal photography of Kane and Lynch will begin in August. I’m excited to start work on that. I think Jamie Foxx is a brilliant actor. I am looking forward to working with him.
You have four releases this year. Aren’t you biting off a little more than you can chew?
No, I think am good. Thank you.
You’re the co-founder of Planet Hollywood. How’s that coming along?
Planet Hollywood is a theme restaurant, which was launched in 1991 and today we are present across many cities in Unites Sates and other parts of the world. So yeah it’s going very well.
Demi Moore, your ex wife, wishes to have a baby with Ashton Kutcher. Are you over her?
Yeah. Demi and I are good friends now and she is the mother of my three amazing kids
You’ve even been an extra in the films in the beginning of your career. Did that phase ever pull you down or make you feel small and want to quit? How did you land your first leading role?
No… I owe my career to the cameo I did at the beginning of my career. I have leant a lot and it helped me become a better actor and human being. Blake Edwards liked my work in Moonlighting and offered me Blind Date opposite Kim Basinger.
You’ve done more action films in your career than comedies. Is this an attempt to try and balance the two?
No, it was not a conscious decision to do only Action oriented films. If I like a script and have complete trust in the
filmmaker, I will go ahead and sign the film.