12 Monkeys Director Says He Was Reluctant To Cast Bruce Willis Because Of His Mouth

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Based entirely on his constantly disinterested face alone, Bruce Willis appears to have been on autopilot for quite some time now. The action icon was once one of the biggest and highest-paid movie stars on the planet, but these days, he’s content to show up in a procession of bargain basement VOD action thrillers that almost always find themselves being panned by critics and even his most ardent fans.

Of course, even during his heyday, Willis was known much more for his action credentials than his acting abilities, but he gave one of his best ever performances in Terry Gilliam’s mind-bending sci-fi 12 Monkeys. It may have been Brad Pitt who stole the show and scored an Academy Award nomination for his efforts, but it’s the leading man who anchors the complex narrative as hero James Cole.

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It remains the biggest box office hit of Gilliam’s career after making over $168 million globally, not to mention earning a well-deserved status as one of the finest sci-fi movies of the 1990s. The star power of Willis and Pitt surely contributed to that figure, but in a new interview, the director revealed that he was reluctant to cast the Die Hard legend in the main role for the bizarre reason that his face reminded the Monty Python alum of an anus.

“I had never been a great fan of Bruce’s before, but I liked talking to him, and I thought, ‘Okay, this guy’s smart, he’s funny’. I explained to him my concerns about him as an actor. I hated the Trumpian mouth he does in films. Rectal. It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s assh*le.”

Gilliam is hardly renowned for holding back his opinions, and he’s always been one of the most outspoken filmmakers in the industry, so there’s a high chance that he probably voiced these concerns to Willis’ face. In any case, 12 Monkeys obviously turned out great in the end, even if it ironically dropped the signature smirk that had characterized the actor’s output over the preceding decade.

Source: ScreenRant