Bruce Willis has mastered the art of a silent brooding character in his films. His breakout role as John McClane in the Die Hard franchise has long since been established as one of the greatest inspirations among the rising populace of the 90s and remains so to date.
In recent years, the veteran actor has been vocal about retiring and opened up about suffering from aphasia, an incurable disorder affecting a person’s ability to express and understand written and spoken language.
Bruce Willis’ Struggles With Aphasia
A while before going public with the neuro-disorder, Willis was diagnosed with aphasia and the condition was initially intended to be kept under wraps. The actor had decided early on that he needed to work on a handful of films before announcing his very public retirement from the movie and entertainment industry so his family would be taken care of despite him being inactive in mainstream media.
However, during his time on the sets of Emmett/Furla Oasis productions, his struggles gradually continued to overtake his otherwise simple tasks. What began as running lines with his crew soon turned into an inability to understand most directions, verbal or written. A source on the set reported the situation accelerated to a point where Willis had to be fed lines via earpiece throughout the film.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Martin Singer praised Willis’ work ethic despite his recent ongoing health struggles:
“My client continued working after his medical diagnosis because he wanted to work and was able to do so, just like many others diagnosed with aphasia who are capable of continuing to work. Because Mr. Willis appeared in those films, they could get financed. That resulted in literally thousands of people having jobs, many during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Randall Emmett Claims He Did Not Know About the Aphasia
Emmett worked with Bruce Willis during the last tenure of the latter’s career. Their most recent work, Wrong Place, which premieres this year was one of the movies which had Willis stumbling over his lines, thus requiring facilitation through an earpiece. Allegations have been made about the Emmett production company racking up an alleged $25M debt and monetizing Willis by overworking him before his retirement.
Randall Emmett denied the allegations saying he was very proud of the work the two had accomplished together. Via a spokesperson, Emmett released a statement to ET that read:
“In every single movie they have worked on together, Bruce enjoyed being on set, playing golf, going to dinners, and communing with the crew. If Bruce had not wanted to be on set, he would not have been there. Willis is one of the greatest actors of his time and was sought after by multiple production companies until his recent retirement. Randall counts him among his closest friends.”
Also read: 10 Times Actors Took Roles For Weird Reasons
Reports also said that Emmett and his then-fiancee, Lala Kent, had a conversation where the former was saddened by the growing troubles of the actor. Although that suggests that the director knew about Willis’ aphasia, Emmett later claimed he was not aware of “any decline in Mr. Willis’ health.”