Despite being three days from retirement, working through a wicked hangover, and generally being weary of the human condition, Bruce Willis continues to be called upon to wage war against the world’s various ethnicities, because that’s how we do things in New York. And after years of battling myriad East German thieves, Latin American dictators, and Russian terrorists, Willis’ latest reluctantly assumed duty is defeating the threat of British interviewers, disarming their inane questions with his usual weapons of wry sarcasm and open contempt, and destroying their plot to help him promote the movies he’s starring in.
Back in February, Willis made his first volley in his campaign against the Queen with an appearance on BBC’s The One Show, where he blamed jetlag for being “a little bit boring, I think” (and “little better than a stumbling moron,” some other viewers think)—much as John McClane could blame his hatred of flying for then getting pissed and machine-gunning a bunch of dudes. But it’s likely only world-weariness, the jetlag of life, that can be blamed on how Willis treats the below interviewer from Britain’s Magic 105.4, an apple-cheeked popinjay with a nefarious plan to create a little lighthearted radio razzle-dazzle. But like so many criminals and desperate people with five publicist-allotted minutes to get celebrities to say something passable about themselves, he didn’t count on Bruce Willis.
“Has any actor ever told you this, Jamie? This part is not acting, what we’re doing right now. You might be, but we’re just selling the film now. Sales. The fun part was making the movie,” Willis says, prompting poor Jamie to ask how he would sell Red 2, then. “I wouldn’t. I would slash my hooves,” Willis replies, using an idiom common among old horses who just don’t want to do press junkets anymore, or maybe ponies who just want attention.
As Mary-Louise Parker looks on, thinking about how mean everyone is to actors, Willis continues to sidestep and mock the interviewer’s increasingly desperate attempts to engage him in innocuous niceties, eventually sneering, “You have some great questions here… Great chat.” As Jamie finally asks whether there will be a Red 3, Willis sighs, “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised”—already cynically preparing himself for the inevitable day he’s dragged right back into this situation. Indeed, how can the same shit happen to the same guy so many times, just because it’s a sadly necessary part of the filmmaking process for which he is so handsomely compensated?