Hollywood Icon Bruce Willis’ cognitive decline has been noticeable on movie sets for years before he finally decided to step back from acting.
Almost a year after Willis’ family said he had been diagnosed with aphasia, they said in a heartbreaking statement that his condition has progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Witnesses on set have spoken out and revealed the moment the actor allegedly misfired guns on movie takes.
The action star, who has been in over 70 movies since he started his acting career in the 1970s, also needed someone to read his lines through an earpiece as his condition continued to worsen.
Last year, he stepped back from acting as he started his fight with the condition that caused his language abilities to decline.
His management also made sure in the last few years that his movie shoots only lasted maximum of two days because of his health.
According to reports, Willis’ deteriorating condition was recognized during the set of White Elephant.
Two crew members recall the actor asking: “I know why you’re here, and I know why you’re here, but why am I here?”
The film was directed by Jesse V. Johnson, who worked with Willis many years ago when he was still a stuntman.
But on the new set in Georgia, Johnson said: “It was clear that he was not the Bruce I remembered.”
When he asked Willis’ team about his condition, “they stated that he was happy to be there, but that it would be best if we could finish shooting him by lunch and let him go early,” he recalled.
One of the crew members who noticed the actor’s confusion on the movie set said that their aim was ‘how to not make Bruce look bad.’
Speaking to the LA Times, a crew member said: “It was less of an annoyance and more like: ‘How do we not make Bruce look bad?’ Someone would give him a line and he didn’t understand what it meant. He was just being puppeted.”
Johnson also said: “After our experience on ‘White Elephant,’ it was decided as a team that we would not do another.
“We are all Bruce Willis fans, and the arrangement felt wrong and ultimately a rather sad end to an incredible career, one that none of us felt comfortable with.”
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