Bruce Willis Didn’t Know He Was On A Film Set, Says Prop Master

Bruce Willis Didn’t Know He Was On A Film Set, Says Prop Master

Bruce Willis.
Thomson Reuters

  • Bruce Willis forgot he was on a film set while filming 2020’s “Midnight in the Switchgrass,” a crew member has claimed.
  • The film’s props master said in ABC News documentary “The Randall Scandal” that Willis thought he was at a real restaurant.
  • Willis’ family announced that he had been diagnosed with aphasia and would retire from acting in March 2022.

A prop for the thriller “Midnight in the Switchgrass” says that while filming the film in 2020, Bruce Willis’ aphasia symptoms were so severe that he sometimes seemed to forget he was on a film set.

Speaking in ‘The Randall Scandal,’ a new Hulu documentary from the Los Angeles Times and ABC News that details allegations of abusive behavior by producer and director Randall Emmett, Alicia Haverland said that while filming a scene drop down in a restaurant, Willis seemed to believe he was actually in a restaurant.

Haverland explained that when she poured Willis more coffee in order to reset the scene for a new take, Willis apparently didn’t realize they were filming and addressed her as if she were a waitress at a restaurant. .

“I’m going over to the cafe, and we’re probably picking up number seven or eight, and he puts his hand on the coffee, looks me straight in the eye, and says, ‘Oh no ma’am, I don’t ‘I don’t want more,'” Haverland recalled in the documentary. She said she tried to explain that she was filling her cup for the scene, and he didn’t understand. Instead, according to Haverland , he asked him if he had ordered more coffee.

Haverland recalled in the documentary that she decided to pose as a waitress and tell him that he ordered more coffee to finish filming the scene. She described Willis’ behavior as “heartbreaking” to watch.

Willis with Randall Emmett in 2012.
Michael Stewart/Getty Images for Goodnight Gansevoort

Haverland previously spoke to LA Times’ Amy Kaufman and Meg James about her experience working with Willis on “Midnight in the Switchgrass” as part of a June 2022 briefing about the allegations against Emmett. This talk served as the basis for the new Hulu documentary.

“Our stunt coordinator mentioned he was having a hard time,” Haverland said. “Our first AD saw him struggling. You’d have to be blind not to see him struggling.”

Various other members of the “Midnight in the Switchgrass” crew told The Times that they saw Willis confused by instructions to open a door for a stage.

In the Hulu documentary, Haverland said that when she met Willis in 2020, he was “the sweetest, sweetest man.” But because of his aphasia, he needed an assistant to pass his lines through an earpiece he wore at all times.

“We should have said something,” she added, admitting that she felt “tremendously guilty” for not standing up for Willis, especially because she said Emmett would often start “freaking out” response to the ‘Die Hard’ star. confusion.

The LA Times reported that Emmett went on to do five more movies with Willis, even after his ex-partner Lala Kent told him he was “so sad” to work with Willis because he “don’t know where is he .” In a March 2022 statement to the LA Times through his attorney, Emmett denied knowing “of any decline in Mr. Willis’ health.” He also denied the conversation with Kent, which was allegedly overheard by two people.

According to the LA Times, Willis made the majority of his later films in the last years of his career with two production companies. One was Emmett/Furla Oasis, the company co-owned by Emmett, with whom Willis made 20 films.

Rumer Willis, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Scout Willis, Emma Heming Willis and Tallulah Willis in 2019.
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for goop

In March 2022, Willis’ family publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that can cause speech loss and difficulty with writing and understanding language. Aphasia sometimes occurs after a stroke.

Willis’ family wrote that he was “staying away” from acting because his aphasia “affected his cognitive abilities”. The cause of the actor’s condition has not been revealed. Then, in February 2023, his family announced that his condition had progressed and he had also been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a degenerative disease that can show signs similar to Alzheimer’s disease, including memory loss.

A representative for Willis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. But in the LA Times story, his attorney Martin Singer made a statement saying it was Willis’ decision to continue working despite his diagnosis.

“My client continued to work after his medical diagnosis because he wanted to work and was able to do so, as did many other people with aphasia who are able to continue working,” Singer wrote. . “Because Mr. Willis appeared in these films, they were able to be funded. This has enabled literally thousands of people to have jobs, many of them during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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