Kevin Smith feels like an “a–hole” for “petty” comments he once made about Bruce Willis, whose family revealed he has aphasia.
“Long before any of the Cop Out stuff, I was a big Bruce Willis fan – so this is really heartbreaking to read,” Smith tweeted Wednesday in response to the news of Willis’ diagnosis, referencing the 2010 action-comedy that he directed and the actor starred in.
“He loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him,” Smith 51, went on, admitting he feels “like an a–hole for my petty complaints” and is “so sorry” to Willis, 67, “and his family.”
In January 2011, Smith described the experience of working with Willis on “Cop Out,” which also starred Tracy Morgan, as “f–king soul-crushing.”
“It was difficult,” he said on the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast at the time. “I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where one component is not in the box at all. It was f–king soul-crushing.”
“I mean, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him,’” the filmmaker continued of the buddy cop flick, which received pitiful reviews. “No, but I had no f–king help from this dude whatsoever.”
While Smith claimed Willis “wouldn’t even sit for a f–king poster shoot,” he praised Morgan, now 53, for making production of the film bearable.
“Were it not for Tracy, I might’ve killed myself or someone else in the making of that movie,” he quipped.
It is unclear how long the “Pulp Fiction” star has been experiencing symptoms of aphasia, but his family revealed Wednesday that he would be stepping away from his decades-long career due to the medical condition.
Aphasia affects a person’s cognitive functions, including their ability to speak, write and understand both verbal and written language. It typically occurs after a stroke or head injury, though Willis’ family did not elaborate on his cause.
They also did not specify when the “Die Hard” star received the diagnosis, but sources exclusively told Page Six he was having “cognitive problems” on movie sets dating back to at least 2020.
Sources also said he was using “earpieces” to have lines fed to him and “body doubles, not just for action [sequences], but for maximizing his screen time.”
“Everybody knew, the cast and crew,” one insider explained, adding that the actor’s family eventually “stepped in” and “moved in to take care of him.”