HELLO AMERICA!—There is one very independent actor in Hollywood who does things his own way whether you like it or not. “I don’t kiss ass for anybody,” Bruce Willis says. “If you work best with someone who simply smiles and take orders or directions, then I’m not your man!” Let’s face it folks, not many actors in Hollywood have made it on this basis.
“Hey, I never went the casting-couch route or hauled off to a secluded restroom with a director or producer to get a gig as anything. Everything I have achieved financially was based on hard work and believing in my ability to deserve the opportunity being offered.”
Because his dad was in the U.S. military service, Willis was born in Idar – Oberstein, Germany. When the family was shipped back to the States, they made their home in Carney’s Point, New Jersey. This served a perfect location because New York City was so close, he could hear the applause from the Broadway audiences urging him to become a member as well. His popularity was proven even when he was attending high school where he was elected president of the Student Council.
“I had a great time in school,” he laughed. “And like most kids that age I, at times, got into trouble running with my buddies. But hell! We were young and challenging all the gods that ruled.”
Following graduation, Willis managed to snag a job in a chemical factory and later as a security guard. Drama classes followed at Montclair State University in New Jersey. It didn’t take long for Bruce to decide he was ready for the “real” thing and quit school and headed for New York City.
“I always follow my gut feeling,” he admits. “There are some actors who are content to spend years in an acting class, listening to somebody else’s theories about the theater, film and acting. Once I got the basics and really was directed quite ably by teachers there, I decided I needed to get the feel of the real thing, the challenge itself of being a part of the industry. And I’m glad that I did because it forced me to face certain realities on every level of performance as well as myself as a talent.”
When the TV series “Moonlighting” came along, Bruce was ready. The producers were more than pleased with his kind of relaxed attitude and the subtle humor which his many fans hungered to see each time his image hit the screen. “Even though the show was a big hit, there were many people of the press refused to acknowledge me as a rather decent actor. When I won an award one year, one gal from a major paper outlet nearly went crazy, claiming that I didn’t deserve it. And she shouted it on camera right after the award was presented. So, I’ve had to work my ass off to prove that I deserve acceptance in this business,” Willis noted.
The excitement about a Bruce Willis film was enhanced once movies such as “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “The Sixth Sense” were released.
“It was quite a feeling to know that my peers in our business finally looked at me as one of them. After all, we’re one family and it’s a very tight club of magical dreamers, all shooting for the stars.” Bruce’s film heroes include the great Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen, John Wayne, Bob DeNiro and Paul Newman. “These guys didn’t let fame and all the notoriety that goes along with it affect who they were. And I’m lucky enough to have friends who are able to keep me pretty even headed and then I have kids, need I say more!”