Bruce Willis is one of the most sought-after Hollywood actors with numerous projects under his belt. Despite his prolific career, he confessed to having regrets about roles he did not take. One of those films is a celebrated 1990 movie that would have changed his life.
Willis rose to fame for his portrayal of John McClane in the 1988 action thriller Die Hard. He starred in several films before that, but his role in the famed franchise cemented his career in Hollywood and propelled him to stardom. He is now known as one of the most in-demand male action stars.
Bruce Willis Turned Down A 1990 Movie Project Starring His Former Wife Demi Moore
“I just didn’t get it. I said, ‘Hey, the guy’s dead. How are you gonna have a romance?’ Famous last words.”
The actor called himself a “knucklehead” for making the rash decision. When Willis received the script, he could not appreciate the story and ultimately said no to the offer. He later on starred in The Sixth Sense (1999), where he played a similar role that would perhaps set things straight for him.
The part eventually went to Patrick Swayze, and the movie earned $505.7 million at the box office, making a mark as one of the most profitable projects of that year. It also beat popular franchises such as Home Alone, Dances with Wolves, Pretty Woman, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In another interview, Willis expressed his disappointment but still defended his choice (via Far Out Magazine):
“I wish I had not turned down the part that Patrick Swayze eventually played in Ghost. I simply could not see how a romance between a ghost and a living person would work. Duh.”
The 68-year-old star admitted he would have liked working with his now ex-wife Demi Moore on that project:
“Also, it would have been nice to have worked with Demi again. I liked that film.”
Life can only be lived forwards, and so Willis had to accept that, perhaps, the role was not destined for him. He soon appeared in numerous popular franchises, such as Pulp Fiction (1994), 12 Monkeys (1995), and Armageddon (1998), to name a few.
Was Bruce Willis’ Commitment Issue The Reason For Rejecting To Star In Ghost?
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore married in 1987 and divorced in 2000. During the course of their marriage, they only had one project where they appeared on-screen: 1991’s Mortal Thoughts. They also both appeared in 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, although Willis’ role was only a cameo.
The Hollywood power couple shared a whirlwind romance during their married life. Willis’ refusal to work with Moore on-screen could have been a hint of the turbulence they have been experiencing at that time.
Moore wrote in her memoir the struggles she faced during their marriage:
“Bruce and I had met, married, had a baby, and just done a lot, very quickly. It was as if he woke up a few years later and thought, whoa, is this what I want? Or do I really want to be free?”
“No woman is going to satisfy a man’s natural impulse to procreate, procreate, procreate. The impulse doesn’t go away because you have three or 10 or a hundred kids.”
Willis’ commitment issue and infidelity led to their divorce in 2000. Whether their personal troubles got in the way of working together on-screen or something else, Willis remains regretful of turning down a project that made history in the world of cinema.