Friday, 28 January 2011

Kevin Smith And Bruce Willis: The Spat

Kevin Smith, the American producer and director, is well known not just for his many creations but also for his honest and often acerbic remarks. This is not a man who holds back! So when Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis got together to work on his latest film, Cop Out, it was inevitable that sparks would fly between these two big  personalities.

Smith says his directorial style is very hands-off. He lets the actors follow the script and trusts them to get on with it. When it came to Willis, Smith wanted some of that classic Willis blasé attitude. But he quickly realised that he could not teach Bruce Willis how to be Bruce Willis.

Silent Bob, Noisy Kevin

Kevin Smith came to fame for his creation of his ‘Silent Bob’ character who debuted in Smith’s first film, Clerks, which was released in 1994. One year later, Mallrats was released to much critical acclaim.

In his early career, Smith’s biggest success was Chasing Amy which starred Ben Affleck and Lauren Adams. The film earned $12 million at the box office. Smith followed the success of this film with a more controversial film, Dogma.

Dogma had an all-star cast including Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, George Carlin and Alan Rickman. Explicit references in the film to the Virgin Mary’s sexual appetite enraged Christians across the country and resulted in Smith receiving three death threats.

Despite his on-screen success, Smith is first and foremost a writer. He has written a number of books including his first book Silent Bob Speaks and his second book, a collection of short stories called My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith. This book hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Hasta la Vista Bruce Willis

Those of us of a certain age will remember Willis from his days as a private investigator on the TV series Moonlighting. Actually Willis got his kick-start in acting at a younger age on off-Broadway productions. His first theatre show to appear in was a remake of the play Heaven and Earth.

But movie stardom beckoned and Willis effortlessly carved a career path for himself as an adaptable character actor. His film roles varied widely with him cast in serious drama, comedy and action films. Few other actors manage such variety in their careers.

His first big successes came in the late 80s with the Die Hard movie series in which he played the memorable John McClane. The first three Die Hard films earned more than $700 million at the box office and shot Willis to the upper echelons of Hollywood aristocracy.

In the late nineties he went on to star in a number of box office hits including Pulp Fiction, The Fifth Element, Twelve Monkeys and The Sixth Sense. He went on to enjoy more television success in his starred in the series Friends. He won an Emmy for his performance on Friends.

Kevin and Bruce Lock Horns

Both men, it would be fair to say, are titans of the American film making industry and have had long and successful careers. They have shown that they are not afraid to speak their minds and that they have the power to follow their own stars.

It’s therefore only natural that when two huge personalities come together, there is bound to be a monumental clash of egos. Is that what happened on the Cop Out film set? Willis was noticeably absent from the premier night party at the launch of the film forcing many to ask, how bad had the clash between these two had actually been?

The fact that Smith has now appeared on many shows across the States explaining the reality behind filming Cop Out and openly joking about his own directing style suggests that the fall-out may not have been as bad as some reports are suggesting.

Will Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis be working together again in the future? Well, don’t forget folks, this is Hollywood and in Hollywood there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies: only permanent interests! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for news of the next exciting venture between Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis!

» Next article: A tribute to Jack Lalanne.
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1 comment:

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