Famed Die Hard actor Bruce Willis has suffered from cognitive difficulties for years and on Wednesday (March 30), news broke that Willis would be stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. The announcement came from his family.
Aphasia is defined as a disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension and can negatively impact a person’s ability to effectively communicate with others.
Reports say that industry insiders have expressed growing concerns following incidents on multiple sets with Willis, suspecting that something deeper was going on. Allegedly, on more than one occasion Willis misfired guns containing blanks on set, and more recently after already being on set for a while, he asked crew members what he was doing there.
Sources go on to make claims that the A-lister frequently struggled to remember his lines while on set and in many instances had to wear an earpiece — commonly referred to as an “earwig” — to be fed his lines.
According to the New York Post, there are conflicting reports of the incidents occurring. While some movie directors have declined to address claims altogether and some film set armorers have denied that the events took place, there are cast and crew members who have previously spoken about the issues.
Lala Kent, who co-starred with Willis in the 2020 film Hard Kill, recalled a time when Willis misfired a gun on set, “Because my back was to him, I wasn’t aware of what was happening behind me. But the first time, it was like, ‘No big deal, let’s reset.’”
“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him. This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.”