Kevin Smith responded to the news of Bruce Willis’ retirement and being diagnosed with aphasia by saying he felt “like an asshole” for publicly smacking the actor over a decade ago. Smith directed Willis and Tracy Morgan in the 2010 buddy comedy Cop Out, but the director’s relationship with Willis has been tumultuous. On a 2011 episode of Marc Maron’s podcast, Smith said “it was bloody soul crushing” working with Willis.
“It was difficult,” Smith said of Willis at the time. The director added that Willis “wouldn’t even sit for a f***ing poster shoot” and that “without Tracy, I would have killed either myself or someone else doing the f***ing ‘Cop Out’.”
After announcing that Willis is leaving his career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a speech disorder caused by brain damage that affects a person’s ability to communicate, Smith joined other Hollywood stars in sending congratulations to Willis and his family.
“I was big before the ‘Cop Out’ stuff Bruce Willis Fan so it’s really heartbreaking to read,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “He loved acting and singing and the loss of that must be devastating for him. I feel like an asshole for my little complaints from 2010. I’m so sorry [Bruce Willis] and his family.”
Willis’ family announced his diagnosis and retirement in a joint statement on social media. “This is a truly challenging time for our family and we are so grateful for your continued love, compassion and support,” the family said. “We’re going through this as a strong family unit and wanted to include his fans because we know how much he means to you, just as you mean to him. As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
Actor Seth Green also responded to the news on Twitter, writing: “I love Bruce Willis so much and am grateful for every character he has given us. Hugs and love for the whole family. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.”
“Health Bruce Willis!” wrote Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld. “Prayers for healing and sincere gratitude for sharing your talents with all of us!”
Read more Hollywood reactions to Bruce Willis’ retirement and diagnosis in the posts below.
Well before the Cop Out stuff I was a huge Bruce Willis fan – so it’s really heartbreaking to read. He loved acting and singing and the loss of that must have been devastating for him. I feel like an asshole about my little grievances from 2010. I am so sorry for BW and his family.
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) March 30, 2022
I have so much love for Bruce Willis and am grateful for every character he gave us. Hugs and love for the whole family – thanks for sharing it with all of us ❤️❤️
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) March 30, 2022
Damned. We wish Bruce Willis and his family the best.
— Richard Roeper (@RichardERoeper) March 30, 2022
So much love, light, prayers and strength for Bruce Willis, his wife, his children, @justdemi and her whole family at this time.
Have faith there is hope and incredible geniuses at the Mayo Clinic and NIH who work in neurology and study brains. Breakthroughs really do happen every day
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 30, 2022
Bless you Bruce Willis! Prayers for healing and sincere gratitude for sharing your talents with all of us!
— robliefeld (@robertliefeld) March 30, 2022
Send ❤️ and 🙏 to #Bruce Willis his family & family. One of my close relatives has aphasia and is still enjoying a happy, fulfilling life (but she has also had to give up her career). It’s unimaginable to think about it #Armageddon without his powerful and heartfelt performance.
— Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale) March 30, 2022
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/kevin-smith-regrets-bruce-willis-complaints-1235219096/ Kevin Smith regrets the complaints made by “Petty” Bruce Willis in 2010