Kevin Smith Says Working With Bruce Willis on COP OUT was “Soul Crushing”

by     Posted 3 years, 309 days ago

Actor, writer and director Kevin Smith has lashed out at Bruce Willis on Marc Maron’s podcast, claiming that working with the action icon during shooting for his recent film Cop Out was “soul crushing”. It’s not new gossip, although officially denied, there were reports at the time that not all was hunky dory on set. Now that the hype surrounding the movie has cleared, Kevin Smith has more or less explicitly stated that there were problems, and those problems were caused by Bruce Willis. During his conversation with Maron about the movie, Smith referred to marketing issues when “one guy wouldn’t even sit for a f*cking poster shoot”. Prompted for a name by Maron, Smith said:

“Everyone knows who it is.  Put it this way, remember the really funny guy in the movie?  It ain’t him.  He’s a f*cking dream.  Tracy Morgan, I would lay down in traffic for.  Were it not for Tracy, I might’ve killed myself or someone else in the making of that movie.”

It could be a clash of egos, because there’s no denying that both of these men have massive egos, but if we’re to believe Smith’s reports, Willis was no barrel of laughs on set. Hit the jump for the low down.

kevin_smith_image

Before going any further, thanks to FilmDrunk and /Film for bits in this story.

Apparently, when shooting on Cop Out came to a close, Willis wasn’t in attendance for the wrap party, and Smith toasted the movie saying:

“I want to thank everyone who worked on the film, except for Bruce Willis, who is a f*cking dick.”

As Marc Maron probed Kevin Smith for details on working with Bruce Willis, Smith admitted:

“It was difficult. I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where, one component is not in the box at all. It was f*ckin’ soul crushing. I mean, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him.’ No, but I had no f*cking help from this dude whatsoever.”

Well, if Smith is trying to lay blame elsewhere, it would definitely seem like a bit of a Cop Out, although this isn’t the first time Smith has discussed working with Willis in a negative light. Speaking at Macworld Expo last year he joked:

” ‘I’m Bruce Willis and I’ve been doing this for 25 years very successfully’ – how long have you been silent motherf*cker? Please don’t put your loser stink on me…”

Below is the full video.  I wonder how this news sits with Bruce Willis and whether he’ll give any official response, would love to hear his side of the story…




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  • juice

    pretty sure the quote is, “how long have you been silent bob motherfucker?”

    sat on the bog? wtf

  • juice

    it’s “how long have you been silent motherf*cker?”

    …sat on a bog? lolwtf

    • billy bong thornton

      Thank you for the clarification I was wondering what the hell that end qutoe was; it made no sense!!!

      Get your game up collider

      • Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

        fixed it. ben fucked up.

  • juice

    oh christ “silent bob”*

  • Droncz92

    Did he have anything bad to say while on the set of Live Free Die Hard?

    • Frayforde

      No… He actually spoke very highly of him and how much he wanted to work with him. Apparently there was a change since then.

  • Sophie

    He’s been talking about his experiences with Bruce Willis for a while now. It was possibly the funniest part of his Sydney show at the Graphic Festival last year. Someone asked who would be his Satan if Alanis Morissette is his god and he replied with “Bruce Willis”

  • Rob Shock

    ” ‘I’m Bruce Willis and I’ve been doing this for 25 years very successfully’ – how long have you been silent motherf*cker? Please don’t put your loser stink on me…”

    Kevin said this whole phrase as if Willis was saying it. The second part is not Kevin’s response to the first part. It’s as if Willis was saying “How long have you been Silent Bob?” You’re making it seem as if Smith is bragging about it, which he never does.

  • SaltyNuts

    Well, Cop Out sucked. But, not because of Bruce Willis. It sucked because Kevin Smith can’t direct for sh*t. He’s a funny guy. He’s a nice guy, I’m sure. And, when he was younger, he made some goofy comedies with his buddies. But, Cop Out showed his weaknesses. He lets scenes go on for too long. He can’t build tension. He can’t build action. His characters are one-note. He can rag on Bruce Willis all he wants, but Cop Out failed because of Smith.

  • Brett

    If Kevin Smith ever complains about having to pay for two seats to ride on an airplane, he should be grateful they aren’t charging him for the whole friggin’ section.

    Still, you have to feel sorry for the guy. He hasn’t had a single commerical hit since Mallrats, he just wrote a comic that had Batman peeing in his pants and is now whining about Bruce Willis.

    Kevin Smith is troubled. And he is eating himself to death.

    • cunt

      Bruce Willis?!?!?!?!?! Is it you?!

  • SkaOreo

    Normally I’d sympathize with directors having to deal with dickish actors, but having seen Cop Out I find it hard to sympathize with Kevin Smith. The movie was incredibly shitty, and it seems quite clear (even in the actual film) that he didn’t give a shit while working on Cop Out?

    Soul-crushing? That’s something I’d have expect Bruce Willis to say after working on Cop Out.

    • Brady Weston

      I’m Ron Burgundy?

  • Alex-mansy

    Also people need to remember Bruce Willis has quite a history of pretty funny comic acting. (Hudson Hawk, The Kid, Look who’s talking, Moonlighting)

    But I have heard he’s a pain in the ass to work with. Tracy Morgan carried that film entirely, definitely Bruce’s worst comic film. (haven’t seen whole ten yards)

  • IAMAPERSON

    In what does Kevin Smith have an ego? Because he’s shunned mediocre film bloggers as you, who can’t even get quotes correctly? You sir are clearly retarded.

  • Jenn

    I love how Kevin Smith has the ability to be so frank and honest about his perspective on the industry. I don’t particularly like Bruce Willis, but this just seems in so poor taste (even though its funny). I would never talk shit about one of my employees after they have left a job, I would look like the biggest asshole. They didn’t mesh – the movie was a bust – move on.

    • frank

      And you said that three years ago! Sly Stallone dumped on Bruce Willis just last week! Which is what brought to this website.

      Perhaps BW is crap.

  • Aaron

    Kevin Smith is a talentless hack. His movies are garbage, he was lucky have bruce to do the movie. It shows his lack of class and professionalism to speak about people like that. Cop Out was terrible anyway, maybe he should tell actors to be antelopes and lions.

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  • Crew-boy

    Kevin Smith isn’t honest at all, he blames everyone else for his own failings and inadequacies, and bad mouths them from the safety of his stage show pulpit and podcast feed and his website and twitter, to an audience of the already converted (no disbelievers allowed nor tolerated). Never have I met someone who was more in love with their own delusional cult of personality, or more insulting to the needs or creativity of those that he works with.

    There’s a reason why most [i]professionals[/i] only ever work with him once. It is, quite simply, because the guy is an absolute douche to work with or be around over any significant stretch of time. Unprofessional, lazy, cliquish, and generally apathetic about what he is doing, with an ego that far exceeds his minimal, and ever diminishing, talent. Never have I seen someone who cared less about the quality of the end product, or who put in less effort in regards to trying to make it the best that it could be.

    Seriously, just look at the list of those who gone on record and have said that they’d never work with him again:
    Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Rooker, Shannen Dougherty, Janeane Garofolo, Eliza Dushku, Judd Nelson, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Savini

    While others have politely refused to comment whenever his name is brought up, such as:
    Bruce Willis, Salma Hayek, Claire Forlani, Will Ferrell, Shannon Elizabeth, Mark Hamill, Brandon Routh, Jamie Kennedy, Seth Rogen, Jason Biggs, Stephen Root, Justin Long, Marc Blucas

    Even the late, great George Carlin, when asked why he did another film with Smith, quipped “because the cheque cleared, and that’s it”.

    And Smith’s standard response is always to badmouth many of the people invloved, often inventing outlandish made up stories to outline how it’s all them, and never him.

    There’s a reason why these days the only people he can cast are unknowns and friends, it’s because his reputation in hollywood is that he is just awful to work with, major studios won’t touch him, actors with active careers and choices on the table won’t touch him, he has basically made himself toxic, and burnt so many bridges that it’s hard to see that he could ever come back now. And given that his whole ‘indie cool’ factor has long since dried up, his name no longer has any real cache amongst even the hipster wannabe actor contingent.

    If he had actually spent the past several years trying to learn and be a better film-maker, rather than launching aggressive slash and burn campaigns against anyone who dared not bow down and worship his self believed greatness, then maybe he’d have a career to fall back on. After all, Hollywood will put up with a$$hole$ and egos if the talent is there, and the end result is good enough to go through such trouble for. It is far less likely to tolerate such behaviour from those who have proven themselves both untalented and lacking in passion or interest to actually try and get any better.

    As it stands, he’s made his bed, now he’ll just have to lie in it. A walking example for all film-makers that if you get a break, don’t take it for granted.

    • lex

      Ok, so I am a little astonished by your statements. I haven’t found anything to back up your list of negative statements actors have said about him. And actually a lot of people work with him more then once. As for my personal view. I was an extra on Red State (hired not one of the Twitter fans that got to be in it) and have worked on many other sets so I have a basis of comparison. He is one of few directors that acknowledged the extras. I also watched him work directly with the actors and they seemed to be having a great time, he did actually direct them and improved their performances. I worked more then one day and it was always a great set to work on. I do think that some of the stories about Bruce Willis are a tad harsh. And honestly I am trying to understand your opinion, specifically the sources of actors who don’t want to work with him again. Please don’t just respond pissed off because I am disagreeing with you and not insulting you.

    • badfae

      I can’t help noticing that some of the actors you say won’t work with Kevin Smith again are ones who have a reputation for being difficult to work with.

    • Spider Jerusalem

      LOL, all of those people have gone on record saying they won’t work with Kevin Smith? Where did they say this, exactly? Because the Internet seems to disagree. Also, Have you ever even heard Smith talk at a Q&A? He constantly blames himself for everything wrong with his films. He doesn’t blame anyone else. Funny post, though. The fact you act like you know what you’re talking about makes it all the funnier.

      • sawyersolo

        you’re right, can’t find any evidence for that…dude posted it 3 years ago?

    • Perry Constantine

      I don’t know where you get Mark Hamill from. He worked with Smith once on Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and just today I was listening to back-to-back podcast episodes of Smith’s Fat Man on Batman where the guest was…you guessed it…Mark Hamill. And Hamill talks about how much fun it was being on the set of Jay & Silent Bob and how his only regret about it was that he didn’t get a chance to meet Chris Rock, because scheduling required their parts to be filmed on different days. He goes on to talk to Smith for about three hours in the podcast. You don’t go on somebody’s free podcast for three hours if you despise them, especially when you have nothing to promote. You just don’t.

      Dougherty and Smith did have a feud at one point while filming Mallrats, but they apparently patched things up. Because if you watch Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Dougherty had a cameo in it.

      But here’s the lowest thing you did. You hate Smith, fine, I get it. He’s not for everyone. But to deliberately lie to act as if everyone agrees with you? I did a search for “George Carlin because the check cleared” which turned up no results. So I searched for your spelling of cheque and the only result that came up? This post. But when I searched for George Carlin Kevin Smith, here’s an interview that came up where Carlin talks about Jersey Girl, the last movie he made with Smith: “I did two movies with Kevin Smith. He told me he wrote another part for me, that was with my voice in mind, written for me. And I had told him some time ago that I was interested in doing more interesting things in movies. … I could see that it was worth doing because it was an acting part not a show-up-and-be-a-comedian part.”

      Not only did you feel the need to badmouth a man who has done absolutely nothing to you, but you did it by putting words in the mouth of a late actor. That’s completely disrespectful to Carlin’s memory. You should be ashamed.

  • Crew-boy

    Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention is that I was highly surprised to see both Root and Blucas turn up in Red State, as neither ever seemed too keen or comfortable ever talking about Smith…but I guess neither one is exactly in too much of a position, career wise, to be picky either. I did find that genuinely unexpected all the same though. Maybe they just subscribe to the George Carlin “as long as the cheque clears” credo though…

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  • blastard

    I’d love to hear that Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis actually got along great and decided together that Kevin should make fun of Bruce, because what the $#@! does Bruce or Kevin have to lose?

    Oh yeah, nothing. They’ll both simply gain from it =P

    Or, maybe, I just like to troll.

    -That Guy

  • Kevin

    Crew-boy, unless you can cite your claims about any single one of the actors you named, your full of shit and your claims have no validity.
    Seriously, you say these people have “gone on record” and then provide no “record” of these supposed statements they made.

    Fucking troll.

  • Kevin

    Well actually take Linda Fiorentino off that list. Cause I wouldn’t be surprised if she had negative things to say about Kevin Smith.

    But you know Carrie Fisher’s still cool with him because she participated in a poetry event at his house a couple of years ago.
    read about it there >> http://silentbobspeaks.com/?p=249

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l79iI2SFvRY
    Smodcast 3 from around 2007, where he mentions that whenever alan rickman is in LA he calls kevin.

    So there’s your first two actors done.

    • badfae

      He probably wouldn’t have hired Jennifer Lopez (who is notorious for being difficult to work with) if she hadn’t been dating Ben Affleck at the time, so I’m not sure she counts, either, particularly since there haven’t really been any other roles he’s had that she’d be good for.

      I’m old enough to remember stories about Shannen Doherty’s bad behavior on the set of 90210, so…there’s that, too.

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  • Logan

    This is ridiculous… Bruce Willis is a great actor and Kevin Smith is a great, comedic director. Maybe they didn’t get along, but this is Hollywood folks. It just didn’t work out and they made a stinker. So what? Both of them have made some incredible movies and nothing will ever tarnish that… Plus they are both fricking millionaires.

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