Fifteen years of history. While Bruce Willis has taken a step back from acting after his aphasia diagnosis, he had worked on more than 100 films — including many with producer Randall Emmett.
“I’ve been on 15 movies of Bruce and I never got nervous once,” Emmett recalled to ComingSoon.net in August 2021. “When he showed up for the first time [on Midnight in the Switchgrass, my directorial debut], for me to have to really give him a vision and direction, I [felt] butterflies. It was like starting over.”
He added: “But he’s a friend and he was so generous and wanting to do whatever I needed him to do. He was great. He was fun. Everybody loved working with him. He’s Bruce Willis. It just doesn’t get any better.”
Despite a seemingly amicable working relationship, the Die Hard actor’s bond with Emmett made headlines in June 2022 when Lala Kent alleged the movie producer told her that he knew about Willis’ health concerns before it became public knowledge. (Emmett has denied her claims.)
“I can’t do this anymore,” Give Them Lala founder — who broke off her engagement to Emmett in November 2021 — recalled her ex-fiancé telling her via phone call, per a Los Angeles Times report. “It’s just so sad. Bruce can’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.”
The Germany native’s attorney, Martin Singer, responded to the accusations at the time, telling the newspaper that Willis continued working after receiving his neurological diagnosis “because he wanted to work and was able to do so,” like many individuals who have similar conditions.
Willis previously announced his acting retirement in March 2022, sharing a social media statement that was posted on daughter Rumer Willis’ Instagram page. (The Pulp Fiction actor shares daughters Rumer, Tallulah and Scout with ex-wife Demi Moore, as well as daughters Mabel and Evelyn with wife Emma Heming Willis.)
“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,” Rumer wrote in a joint statement alongside her sisters, Moore and Heming Willis. “As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
Emmett — who shares daughter Ocean with the Vanderpump Rules star — later praised their friendship in a sweet social media tribute.
“He is a terrific actor and legendary action star, an incredible father, and a close friend,” the Florida native gushed via Instagram that March. “I fully support Bruce and his family during this challenging time and admire him for his courage in battling this incredibly difficult medical condition.”
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Keep scrolling for the Sixth Sense star’s full history with Emmett: