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Bruce Willis’ Recent Co-Workers Knew Something Was Wrong: ‘He Just Looked So Lost’

The announcement that Bruce Willis was stepping away from his career after receiving a diagnosis of aphasia, a disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, was known to more than just his family. Many film-industry co-workers noticed that something was going on with the 67-year-old actor long before his family publicly revealed his health news.

A Los Angeles Times article spoke with many people in the entertainment industry who had concerns about the Die Hard star going back to 2020. Willis traveled with an actor to every film set, who would feed him lines through an earpiece because he had trouble remembering dialogue. While that practice isn’t uncommon with older actors, it was his confused state off-camera that had many people worried. Two crew members who worked with Willis on a film recalled to the outlet that he once asked, “I know why you’re here, and I know why you’re here, but why am I here?”

“It was less of an annoyance and more like: ‘How do we not make Bruce look bad?’” one of the crew insiders added. “Someone would give him a line and he didn’t understand what it meant. He was just being puppeted.” Terri Martin, the production supervisor on Willis’ movie, White Elephant, felt that “it was time for him to retire” because “he just looked so lost” even though “he always tried his best.”

Willis was making terrific money doing films that were often video-on-demand projects and his name recognition garnered him a top-dollar price — $2 million for two days of work in some cases, according to the LA Times. But the dizzying pace of his workload — 22 films in four years — left some crew members questioning why those close to him allowed him to keep working for so long. Several filmmakers decided to no longer work with him after witnessing him in his current condition because it felt like they were contributing to his suffering.

“We are all Bruce Willis fans, and the arrangement felt wrong and ultimately a rather sad end to an incredible career,” summed up director Jesse V. Johnson. “One that none of us felt comfortable with.”

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