Bruce Willis: “I had been sober, but I have wine now”

Bruce Willis did an interview on BBC’s One Show earlier this month to promote the latest Die Hard movie. The interview got a lot of press because Bruce seemed drunk. He slurred his words, sounded incoherent at times, and was a dud overall. The British press lambasted him, but I saw the interview and it wasn’t horrible or anything. (It’s available in two parts on YouTube. The most awkward parts are around 3:20 and 8:00 in this first video.) If anything he sounded like the drunk dude at the corner bar who thinks he’s being philosophical, makes little sense and is generally harmless. This is his job, though, and he should strive to at least be sober when he’s doing promotional duties. Can you imagine if he was wasted like that on Letterman or Leno? That story would have had a lot more mileage.

Willis covers the new issue of GQ, and his interview may reveal why he acted like that on British television. He admits that he’s no longer abstaining from alcohol and that he enjoys “wine with dinner.” Here are some excerpts from his GQ interview, with more at the source:

Bruce Willis on his advice to actors:
“I recently heard one of my fellow actors say it in three words: ‘Just shut up.’ Just go silent. Maybe it’s being older; maybe that’s just a tiny tag of wisdom, that you’ve got to think about something before you say something. I once thought that somehow, with this job, also comes the inherent right to say whatever the f*k I want regardless of whether I’m right or wrong or think that anybody needs to hear it or shouldhear it.”

…on never being nominated for an Oscar:
“I don’t think about it too much. It just always has seemed whimsical to me, to think about it. You don’t get an Oscar for comedy, and you don’t get it for shooting people. You get it for novelty, of being fascinating to watch in some character role. But the Die Hard stuff and Dirty Harry are all fraught with the same thing that every story is fraught with.”

…on his sobriety: “I had been sober [for a while]. But once I realized that I wasn’t gonna run myself off the pier of life with alcohol, drinking vodka out of the bottle every day… I have wine now, mostly when I eat.”

…on maybe trying out theater:
“I’d like to go and do theater. It seems like a more reasonable job, more manageable.”

…on future plans and if he’d pursue politics:
And nobody wants to hear this bad news, but we’re all dying on some level. I’m going to try to keep the machine moving forward as much as possible and not have to think about the eventuality of becoming more frail and less able to do the work. I know that I’m not going into politics. That’s not an option. I was asked, and I said, “Did you hear any of the stuff about me when I was a kid?”

…on Bill O’Reilly and his books: “I’ve been reading a lot of—I read a lot anyway, but—I’ve been reading a lot, in Europe. … [Bill O’Reilly] wrote about the assassination of Lincoln and the assassination of JFK. I learned more things from him and his story of JFK than I ever knew. Bill O’Reilly is a great researcher. Whatever you think about his character that he plays in the news, he’s a great researcher.”

[From GQ]

I still find Bruce Willis to be incredibly hot in theory, but there’s something sad about him when he’s drunk. He was very soft spoken and goofy and he lost his appeal for me in that interview. He had more than a couple glasses of wine at dinner that’s for sure.

Huffington Post reminds us that Bruce got sober around 1988, and that he quit his gig as a spokesperson for Seagram’s Wine Coolers because he quit drinking. I wonder if he was sober for over 20 years.

A Good Day to Die Hard is out in the US on Valentine’s Day. Can you believe that this franchise is still going strong after 25 years? The first movie came out in 1988. Matt Damon could have easily done that with the Bourne movies, he could have ridden that franchise into the ground but he knew when to step down. Bruce doesn’t mind. He said in that BBC interview that he’d do a sixth Die Hard movie.

In these photos below Bruce is shown in Paris yesterday receiving the “Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres.” It’s a prestigious award from the French Minister of Culture for “significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.” His wife looks really good. She’s all of 34 now, and she had a baby about 10 months ago.

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33 Responses to “Bruce Willis: “I had been sober, but I have wine now””

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  1. Little Darling says:

    From his moonlighting days this man has proven to be such a class act. Devoted father, awesome ex husband, politically aware…he is just incredible. I’m glad his career is still going strong.

  2. faun says:

    It’s astonishing that he believes that O’Reilly’s book is factual and not riddled with errors.

  3. KellyinSeattle says:

    I love Bruce; Bruce, come over to my place and let’s have some wine….leave the wife at home. :)

  4. guilty pleasures says:

    Shall I be the first to observe that many an alcoholic has slid down and off the slippery slope of having ‘just a little wine, mostly when I eat…?’
    Good luck to Bruce with his controlled drinking, I love his movies, he is a gem! He is my ‘freebie,’ my husband has Cote de Pablo! (I’ve also snuck Shemar Moore onto my list!)

    • Eleonor says:

      I was going to write the same thing: a glass of wine for a recover alchoolic isn’t a good choice. I hope I am wrong.

    • vvvoid says:

      Surely he knows this. I’m confused, I’m in AA/NA, I got clean thanks to the program, but I am not brainwashed by it. I never had an issue with alcohol, my problem was pills and eventually cocaine, hardly ever drank, so nowadays I am willing to drink some wine at special occasions etc. I recognize the risk of replacing pills with alcohol, but I don’t like alcohol enough for that. I definitely cannot have a little coke with dinner, though.
      But Bruce had a problem specifically with alcohol, so hearing him say he’s able to drink “a little wine” without opening Pandora’s Box is like me saying I’m able to shoot “a few dilaudids” and be a-ok.
      He must know this. Hopefully if he starts to drink too much again, he’ll see the writing on the wall and humbly go to a meeting to pick up a white chip.

    • Little Darling says:

      It seems like he didn’t have a major alcoholism problem, perhaps it was situational or due to outward circumstances. A lot of people self
      Medicate in a time of stress and are ultimately able to manage it without meetings and a dose of self control. I get the impression that he went through a spell, took the necessary precautions and realized drinking with food doesn’t equate a bender. I hope at least!!

    • MollyB says:

      Yeah, this makes me sad because he seems like a nice guy. I’ve known a lot of alcoholics who eventually begin to think they can socially drink and it almost never stays that way. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic–it’s important to abstain.

    • candigirl says:

      Thanks for writing that. I agree, it sounds like a slippery slope. And he does sound drunk in the interview. I recently read a great book “Almost Alcoholic” written by a Harvard physician and another rehab specialist. They talk about looking at alcoholism as a spectrum of disease or behavior. How you can gradually over time go from social drinking to over indulgence, “almost alcoholism” and it can damage your health and your life before you realize it.

    • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

      On the topic of alcoholism and its hold on people and the lies they tell themselves, please read Ann Leary’s ( wife of Dennis) new book The Good House.

      She is a really good, funny writer.

  5. Me Three says:

    His wife looks like Demi…just a younger version. Used to like him but he’s like so many Hollywood actors who, hook up with younger and younger girls, as they get older. At least she doesnt appear to be a famewhore like Hilaria or Clint Eastwood’s wife.

    Have to say my view of him went down a notch when he mentioned O’Reilly. Good God Bruce…get a grip!

    • Jayna says:

      She was a successful model. I like her. She has a lot of grace and warmth to her and seems like an old soul. Very classy woman. He mentioned his emotional loneliness before meeting her and is madly in love with her. So for all his young women he seemed like from what he said he was empty. I didn’t look at him as so shallow after that for all his hotties he was screwing. At least, he was mostly discreet.

      Worse than Bill O’Reilly is Bruce’s bitching about gun control. His belief about the right to buy semi-automatic assault weapons I am disappointed in and can’t discuss that issue with anyone who disagrees because I get pissed off. I don’t even want to debate it.

  6. Rux says:

    I love the Die Hard franchise and John McClane. Love, love, love, love. My hubby and I are totally seeing this movie (after VDay) of course.

    I can’t completely explain why I love it perhaps because there is a great mixture of comedy and action?! I still watch the first one when it comes on Spike TV or TNT or whathaveyou.

    And aren’t the British being a bit of hippocrites…My husband and I both, worked in London and 3 PM everyday is Pub Time soooo…….

  7. bar world land says:

    He will always be the manliest of all men to me. I adore him.

  8. valleymiss says:

    He’ll always be David Addison to me. I loved Moonlighting and own every season (even the awful last seasons lol) on dvd. There was a lot of press back in the day about Bruce and Cybil Shepherd not getting along, and on the dvd there’s a reunion between them in the special features. Bruce says the nicest, most sincere thing…he alludes to them not getting along back in the day, and he points out, “But, I owe this woman my career. I was offered ‘Die Hard,’ but I was under contract to ‘Moonlighting.’ Then Cybil got pregnant and had to take maternity leave. If it wasn’t for her, I never would have been able to do the movie that changed my entire career.” She seemed pleased that he acknowledged that (and I’m paraphrasing, of course). His attitude seemed to be, “Let bygones be bygones, because in the end, everything worked out.” LOVE this man, always have.

  9. Red says:

    Have always loved him, ever since Moonlighting. What I love the most now is that he doesn’t seem to have messed with his face. It’s a man’s face – full of character and actual expression. There’s a lot to be said for growing old gracefully! So sexy.

  10. katielouisiana says:

    Bruce is back on the sauce-here is the proof:
    “I learned more things from him and his story of JFK than I ever knew. Bill O’Reilly is a great researcher. Whatever you think about his character that he plays in the news, he’s a great researcher.”
    Didn’t everyone hear that the book was filled with inaccuracies? So many , in fact, it was banned in many places. It was described as “fiction”.

  11. serena says:

    It’s sad that he never had an Oscar nomination.. I think he’s a good actor but always does the same roles he’s offered to.

  12. Tig says:

    So happy to see “Moonlighting” getting some love! I really enjoyed that show- he was so funny in it. Glad to hear that he could say nice things about Cybil Shepherd, bec there was a bunch of drama back then!!

  13. Dawn says:

    I really feel sorry for the Willis girls. Their mom is all out crazy (and no I don’t think it’s all Ashton’s fault) and their dad is back on the sauce. When Bruce and Demi were married there were lots of stories about them, her cheating and his drinking. God knows why he thinks drinking wine is a cool thing to do I don’t know. He has never been a great actor, only a good one and always plays the same part. Again those Willis girls must really be stressed to the max.

  14. JC says:

    I’ve long loved Bruce — seems like a great Dad and a kind ex-husband. However, today is also my 30th day of sobriety, and I’m in AA. Although I’m still mourning my inability to have a normal relationship with alcohol (and therefore cannot drink) I’m terrified of having many years of sobriety and thinking to myself, “Hey, I’ve got this licked.” Complacency is a bitch.

    It’s not about what kind of alcohol you drink; it’s about the effect the alcohol has on you. I could decide I’m only going to drink beer, and never touch vodka or wine, and guess what? In a few months, I’d be the biggest, beer-drinkingest bitch you ever met.

    Love the guy, but he sounds a bit in denial. Hope it doesn’t catch up with him, because I really like the guy.

    • guilty pleasures says:

      well said JC, I, too, am sober in the program. I had three great years sober and was miraculously ‘cured.’
      I proceeded to drink like an *ss for eight fricken years before I stumbled back. I am sober and happy now, three years again, and hope to not ever be cured again!!!
      It started, by the way, with the idea that I could safely have ‘a glass of wine with food.’ HAH!

    • Miss Kitty says:

      I am in the program too. Just passed the two year mark. I, too, felt really sad when I read “just wine with meals”. There is no safe drink for an alcoholic. I hope he get back on the beam.

  15. kitkerenina says:

    Love, love Bruce.

    Hubby and I haven’t gone to a movie in years, but we both perked up when this trailer came out. Our son, too. And he hates most things.

  16. cruiz2 says:

    Luv him!!! He’s still hot to me.

  17. Str8Shooter says:

    This is denial of the highest degree. There is no such things as ‘safe’ drinking or a ‘little wine’ to an alcoholic. You can not drink at ALL and there is no way he can really believe that deep down.

    I had a partner who was a recovering alcoholic who did the same thing..started out with a glass of wine here, a beer there. Six stints in detox and four in rehab later…and still, sadly, cannot kick the habit.

    If he doesn’t stop now while he’s ahead, he is surely in for trouble later.

  18. Jayna says:

    I don’t see a problem with this depending on how long he was a heavy drinker. A true alcoholic has to give it up forever. But there are people who during their youth and different times of their life drank in excess and it became a really bad habit and not good for them or their loved ones and just needed to give it up, refocus. Maybe he is in a great place in his life, more relaxed lifestyle, not so driven, out of the limelight, not a younger partier, that he can enjoy wine with dinner. It’s not a one size fits all. But since he had a pill dependency and coke heavily, using anything that self-medicates I would think is a slippery slope. I don’t have an addictive gene, so what do I know.