BRUCE Willis’ longtime stunt double revealed how the actor tragically ‘changed’ in the months before his heartbreaking aphasia diagnosis.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Bruce‘s stunt double of 17 years, Stuart F. Wilson, said that the iconic Die Hard actor had noticeably changed over the past year as his family announced on Wednesday he has been diagnosed with aphasia.
Stuart F. Wilson worked as Bruce Willis’ stunt double for the past 17 yearsCredit: DLM Press, PacificCoastNews.com
The iconic actor is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasiaCredit: AFP
“We had seen some changes, but a lot of times with bigger celebrities that are really, really popular like, like Bruce, they have a million different things going on,” Stuart said as he explained that it wasn’t immediately clear something was wrong.
“Sometimes when you were talking to him, he just seemed sidetracked and we would think it would mean nothing but you would wonder if there are other things going on.”
Eventually, Stuart said, it became obvious that Bruce, 67, was dealing with more than just forgetfulness.
“Being with somebody that much yeah, you see the changes.
“Obviously we knew there was other stuff going on at a certain point in time. We realized because he’s getting tested for different things, but at the time we didn’t know exactly what it was.”
The prodigious stuntman said he knew an announcement was imminent, but he didn’t know when or the exact nature of the announcement.
Stuart and Bruce had last worked together the second week of December of last year.
At that point, Bruce’s stunt double said “The bulk of the team had a feeling that he’d take a break. He was doing some medical testing and stuff like that. So we just figured, okay maybe he’ll take a break.
“Realistically though we were as prepared we can be to have your job go away.”
Stuart said that so much of the job of a stunt man is generally not in one’s own control, regardless.
“I used to tell people the reality of being a stunt person, especially a stunt double, is if Bruce gets hurt production stops. If I get hurt, they get another bald guy,” he good-humoredly cracked.
Beyond any apparent changes in Bruce’s ability to recall things, Stuart said he had noticed slight changes in his appearance when he saw him two weeks ago.
“He’s just a little leaner now but never was a big eater anyway. You know, when we go out to dinner, he’d order you know quite a bit of stuff and he just picks at it.
“So he’s a little leaner. When I saw him a couple weeks ago, he’s just a little leaner than normal but not emaciated, and he’s always been in pretty good shape,” Bruce’s double added.
While there have been reports that Bruce has recently relied heavily on things like earpieces to feed him lines, Stuart said that it’s pretty common for someone as busy as the Armageddon actor to use aids for feeding lines.
Bruce’s stunt double opened up about the changes in the actor in the last yearCredit: Getty
Bruce has starred in iconic roles such as in the Die Hard series and ArmageddonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“He was doing Misery on Broadway, a guy named Adam, who’s an actor and also does what they call an earwig.”
“He would use an earwig on occasion just to help out, especially if it was very dialogue-heavy and we just flew in.
“He’s got all this stuff to do. And he just got off another film. So a lot of times we use earwig stuff just to make it easier for production.”
While Stuart may be looking for other work after nearly two decades working as Bruce’s stunt double, he said he does have some other projects that will get the necessary attention now.
“I’ve had a production company since 2013, and I’ve done a documentary and a film on YouTube so far.
“It’s called Fall Guy Productions. I currently have a film in the works called Purple.
“Fall Guy Productions is my thing, so I have to focus on that, and that only and now is the perfect time,” Stuart added of his immediate future.
STEPPING AWAY FROM ACTING
On Wednesday Bruce’s family announced he is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia.
His family explained that he is suffering from “cognitive” issues.
Alongside a throwback photo of Bruce, 67, Rumer wrote: “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.
“As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
She continued: “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.
“We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.
“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
Aphasia is a medical condition resulting in the inability to understand words and communicate clearly, aphasia typically occurs after a stroke or head injury.
Bruce is best known for his long career in Hollywood that has spanned over several decades.
He has played leading roles in numerous action films including Die Hard and its sequels, Armageddon and more.
His other memorable movie roles include Pulp Fiction, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense and Sin City.
Bruce has won a number of impressive awards throughout his career, including a Golden Globe and two Emmys.
Bruce was married to actress Demi, 59, from 1987 to 2000.
Despite the end of their marriage, the exes have remained friends and have been involved in each other’s lives.
He went on to marry Emma, 43, in 2009.
ONE BIG FAMILY
Back in April 2020, Bruce revealed he was staying with Demi and their daughters in Idaho while Emma and their daughters were in Los Angeles.
Scout previously revealed how Bruce and Demi were temporarily quarantined together during a podcast.
She shared: “It’s been so funny because to me they’re just like my super f***ing weird parents but to everyone else, they’re at this different level.
“It’s actually been really cool. My stepmom was supposed to come up here with my little sisters but my younger sister, who is now about to be six years old, at a park, had never gotten the talk about not f***ing with hypodermic needles that she found, so she actually tried to poke her shoe with it and poked her foot.”
“So my stepmom had to be in LA waiting to get the results from taking her to the doctor so my dad came up here and then travel got crazy so my step mum stayed in LA with my little sisters.”
Bruce was previously married to fellow actor Demi MooreCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Bruce is married to Emma Heming WillisCredit: Instagram/@emmahemingwillis
Bruce’s family shared the news in a joint statementCredit: Alamy
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