Kevin Smith reacted to the news about Bruce Willis’ acting retirement and aphasia diagnosis by saying he “feels like an asshole” for publicly slamming 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 was tumultuous. On a 2011 episode of Marc Maron’s podcast, Smith said “it was fucking soul crushing” working with Willis.
“It was difficult,” Smith said at the time about Willis. The director added that Willis “wouldn’t even sit for a fucking poster shoot” and that “were it not for Tracy, I might have killed either myself or someone else in the making of fucking ‘Cop Out.’”
Following the announcement that Willis is stepping away from his career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder caused by brain damage that affects a person’s ability to communicate, Smith joined other Hollywood stars in sending well wishes to Willis and his family.
“Long before any of the ‘Cop Out’ stuff, I was a big Bruce Willis fan, so this is really heartbreaking to read,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “He loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him. I feel like an asshole for my petty complaints from 2010. So sorry to [Bruce Willis] and his family.”
Willis’ family announced his diagnosis and retirement in a joint statement on social media. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” the family said. “We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
Actor Seth Green also reacted to the news on Twitter, writing, “I have so much love for Bruce Willis, and am grateful for every character he’s given us. Hugs and love for the whole family. Thank you for sharing him with us all.”
“Bless you, 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.
Long before any of the Cop Out stuff, I was a big Bruce Willis fan – so this is really heartbreaking to read. He loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him. I feel like an asshole for my petty complaints from 2010. So sorry to BW and his family. https://t.co/npSgvkb5v7
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) March 30, 2022
I have so much love for Bruce Willis, and am grateful for every character he’s given us. Hugs and love for the whole family- thank you for sharing him with us all ❤️❤️ https://t.co/ct0HE1Ti2N
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) March 30, 2022
Damn. Wishing the best for Bruce Willis and his family. https://t.co/95AFvbOcnd
— Richard Roeper (@RichardERoeper) March 30, 2022
So much love, light, prayers, and strength to Bruce Willis, his wife, children, @justdemi and their entire family during this time.
Have faith, there is hope and incredible geniuses at Mayo Clinic and NIH who work in neurology & study brains. Breakthroughs truly 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! https://t.co/maNEhLy8ul
— robliefeld (@robertliefeld) March 30, 2022
Sending ❤️ and 🙏 to #BruceWillis his family & family. One of my close relatives has aphasia and she is still enjoying a happy, fulfilling life (but she also had to give up her career). It’s inconceivable to think of #Armageddon without his powerful and heartfelt performance. https://t.co/uy2FbrMDtJ
— Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale) March 30, 2022