'12 Monkeys' Director Terry Gilliam Almost Passed On Bruce Willis Due To His 'Rectal Mouth'
Surprise: 12 Monkeys director Terry Gilliam says that he wasn't exactly thrilled about casting Bruce Willis in his iconic sci-fi film — and he had a rather prim and proper reason for his distaste.
In an interview with Inverse celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1996 movie, Gilliam admitted that he wasn't hot on having Willis in the first place, nor was he keen on some other currently hot actors around town, but that he felt pushed to choose a big name for the production.
"The pressure was to get a movie star in," he noted. "So they were coming up with all these names. And I just kept saying no. Tom Cruise, Nic Cage, they were all being thrown at me."
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Finally: "I had never been a great fan of Bruce's before, but I liked talking to him, and I thought, 'OK, this guy's smart; he's funny,'" he admitted, but said that he gave Willis the low-down on exactly why he wasn't thrilled to take him on.
"I explained to him my concerns about him as an actor. I hated the Trumpian mouth he does in films. Rectal. It's like I'm looking at somebody's asshole."
Gilliam also had beef with Willis' behavior once he was established as part of the cast. "Bruce was trying incredibly hard to just be an actor at work, but he had been spoiled by success for so long. So he was in many ways like a kid who was pushing the limits constantly and then coming up with stupid excuses for being late," he noted of the actor's time on set.
"There was one point he had something that looked like a note from his mother," he remembered.
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Willis hasn't commented on this (yet), but in case he catches wind of Gilliam's sentiments and feels a little shafted, Gilliam had some choice words about costar Brad Pitt as well.
"I was actually scared shitless that Brad might not be able to do the character," Gilliam said, explaining that Pitt "liked pot too much" at the time.
All apparently worked out just fine, of course with the movie becoming a smashing success —and Pitt even scoring an Oscar nomination and winning the Golden Globe for his role as supporting actor.