In his post-Moonlighting years, Bruce Willis became a megastar in a string of action thrillers, starting with 1988's Die Hard. Unfortunately, the recent real-life terrorist attacks have soured his taste for battling baddies onscreen. "I'm not an action hero anymore," Willis declares to TV Guide Online, "and I think it would be inappropriate for me to compare anything that happens in Hollywood and the entertainment industry to the tragic loss of life on Sept. 11.
"I know people who died in that tragedy," he continues. "It's impossible to wrap your mind around what happened there. What happens in Hollywood isn't real it's about diversion. What I'm trying to do is just entertain people. I'm proud to be an entertainer."
Willis hopes moviegoers will find his screwball comedy Bandits (opening tomorrow) pleasantly diverting. In the flick, he's a suave, sexy escaped con who teams up with a neurotic Billy Bob Thornton on a cross-country bank-robbing spree.
"Billy Bob and I are a hoot together in real life," Willis grins. "Depending on what day you catch us, we can just laugh off being movie stars. We had a lot of fun together on Armageddon and we said to each other, 'Maybe we ought to try a comedy.' And in Bandits, we had the latitude to fool around and do some of our own shtick. It hardly ever felt like we were working to be funny. I don't think we could have gotten to the place we did in this kind of comedy which is hard to do if we didn't have that feel and fun off the screen."
By the way, Cate Blanchett
plays the woman who falls in love with both the rascals. For once, Willis didn't mind not getting the girl all to himself. "A lot of women seem to think it's fine that we share," he chuckles. "They're getting a kick out of both the comedy and the romance."