NEW YORK – Bruce Willis is such an iconic action movie star that you’d assume he handles firearms with aplomb and takes their presence on a movie set for granted.
But to hear his co-stars on “Red 2” tell it, Willis, who plays retired black-ops assassin Frank Moses, is anything but cavalier about the high-powered weaponry he brandishes in his films. Far from being a “gun nut,” he is in fact a “safety nut” when it comes to keeping everyone on the set secure and out of harm’s way.
“I noticed when I had a gun in one scene and was walking with Bruce, he was very sure I was being safe,” said Anthony Hopkins, the film’s terrorist arch-villain, during press interviews hosted by Summit Entertainment. “It happened that the gun was loaded, because we had to do a continuing shot, and I was aware of him being very aware of safety and the consequences of the firearm going off. He’s been around them, but I haven’t done much with them. You don’t mess around with those things.
“In England, if you have to have a gun on set, they’re very tough. As soon as you fire, the armory takes it away from you and that’s it,” he said. “We don’t have firearms there, well, very few of them anyway.”
Mary-Louise Parker, who plays Willis’ slightly ditzy girlfriend Sarah, was asked if the macho action star gave her any tips on handling firearms.
“No. My character is not meant to be adept at it,” she said. “I’m supposed to be bumbling and not good (with guns). But Bruce always made sure that everyone had ear plugs, and that nobody was going to hurt themselves. He’s just always so sweet and protective of everyone on the set.”
For his part, Willis delivered a wink-wink, half-joking answer about the subject, which by all accounts he takes very seriously.
“Safety is so important,” the actor said with tongue only slightly in cheek. “Safety is not shooting your fellow actors, not shooting yourself, not having a gun go off while it’s in your pocket – you don’t want that to happen. Safety is really my biggest concern. Sometimes, I work with kids, and you definitely don’t want to shoot the kids, so you have to be safe. You don’t want to shoot anyone.”
- Dennis King