It’s one thing to watch John McClane and Hannibal Lecter share the same screen, but to actually see Bruce Willis and Anthony Hopkins on the same stage in New York City was an absolute treat. So many classic films and storied years were brought together in one simple private conference, all thanks to the genius production team who put together RED 2. For a sequel which some people initially questioned, everybody involved seems to be feeling pretty good about this action flick – and with good reasoning.
While attending the press day for Dean Parisot’s RED sequel, I was invited to sit in on a small press conference featuring both Sir Anthony Hopkins and Bruce Willis. It was honestly surreal to see these two men walk in and take the stage, but Willis’ energy immediately had everyone at ease in the room. While dishing out tidbits about their upcoming movie, Bruce even took a minute to jokingly try and get two random press attendees to kiss on the spot, trying to imitate all the random making out he has to do in the film. This eventually turned into him joking that everyone in the press should start making out with the person next to them, which thankfully the older gentleman to my left didn’t take seriously. Man, dodged a bullet there…
Seriously though, the whole press day was an absolute blast, but Bruce Willis’ jovial attitude was definitely a major highlight. Read on to hear both Bruce and Anthony talk RED 2, gun safety, and the awesome cast that was assembled.
The first question that was thrown at Bruce pertained to a particularly funny scene where Mary-Louise Parker has to slap him repeatedly, so we asked him how shooting went that day. In addition, Bruce was also asked what it’s like working with John Malkovich. Here was his reaction:
Bruce Willis: I was slapped in this film? I was? I haven’t seen the final cut. Who slaps me? Mary-Louise? Ohhhh, yes, my goodness. I like that scene. It’s something I seldom get to do in films, and that’s get that daffy look on my face where I’m just coming out of unconsciousness. Always a fun thing to do. Sometimes directors are so strict about saying the words just right, like saying “the” instead of “that,” but this film was not like that. We got to wing some of the things, and that scene was particularly – what’s the past tense of “winged?” Is it “winged?” I don’t know, well, we “wong” it. Sorry, not an English major.
We got to have a lot of fun on this film, and that was one of the scenes. She let me have it.
As for John, well, you never know what’s going to happen when you’re around John Malkovich. He makes me laugh all the time, which is a very good thing, but sometimes we’d have to go again because we were laughing so hard. But you can kind of get away with laughing on camera. [In the movie] he was giving me romantic advice, and I liked that advice. I had fun on these films. I actually rushed into work. There was no lollygagging, no coming in late because I didn’t want to do it – we were all happy to show up and try to make each other laugh.
Because Bruce is always the action hero, someone asked him if there was any part he’d consider taking to present a real change of pace, like Anthony Hopkins playing Hitchcock recently:
Bruce Willis: I think I’m very fortunate. I get asked to do a lot of things. Some of them include weapons, some of them include jokes, and time to time, some of them include making out with women that I’m not married to. How often does that happen. What about you guys, does that ever come out in your job? Do you ever get told “today you’re going to kiss three or four of the women at the press conference, and you can choose who they are.” It’s a strange thing isn’t it? [Gestures to a male press attendee sitting next to a female press attendee] Are you guys married? Do you guys know each other?
Attendee: [Laughs] Yea, we know each other, not married…
Bruce Willis: What if you were asked right now to kiss her? Or if she was asked to kiss you? Wouldn’t it add to the day? It’s all fun!
Flustered, the same press attendee Bruce was joking with happened to be next in line to ask a question, laughing and trying to collect himself, but Bruce wouldn’t let up:
Bruce Willis: Are you blushing? Alright!
Attendee: Oh yea….