- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2000

Bruce Willis, 45, has reunited with "The Sixth Sense" director-screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan for "Unbreakable," one of the most anticipated films of the year. Mr. Willis' roller-coaster career got yet another boost after he starred in 1999's "The Sixth Sense," but fans and critics cooled to his follow-up projects, including "The Story of Us" and "The Kid."

In addition, Mr. Willis' divorce from Demi Moore recently became finalized. "Unbreakable" should go a long way toward restoring any lost luster to his career.

Q: In this film, you play a man seemingly impervious to harm. How do you relate to this character?

A: I never thought about the outcome of what happens to my character when I was shooting this film. But as a human being, I'm just like you guys. I'm vulnerable emotionally. I'm not invincible. That's just in movies.

Q: What did you think initially about working with M. Night Shyamalan again?

A: There was a huge excitement on my part. I couldn't wait to get started on this film. Night spent a lot time in pre-production on this film, working with my co-star, Samuel L. Jackson, and his whole crew, just getting this thing ready. And I kept calling him every day asking when we were going to start shooting this film. I don't think we had any trepidation about having worked on another film, "The Sixth Sense," that had done well financially.

Q: What attracted you to this particular film?

A: I had the benefit of reading this script. The script that I read was already very complete. And it's very much the film that people will see. It was a powerful, well-crafted story going in. Sometimes if you have a script that's not complete or there are open spots in it, then there is some concern. This film is very different from "The Sixth Sense" but still with elements that are very disturbing and unsettling to a degree.

Q: Now that you've done two films together, would you ever return for a third?

A: We don't have any script right now. I'm waiting for Night to go back to his desk and start writing again. I'd like to do all my films with Night, but unfortunately, he does need to take a little time off. We have a great working relationship, and I would work with him again.

Q: As in "The Sixth Sense," you're very low-key and generous toward the other members of the cast.

A: The star of this film is the script. We've got Samuel L. Jackson and Robin Wright Penn, but this script is so unique that nobody ever said that this is their turn to shine. It was the script really.

Q: Clearly these two films have been a different kind of working experience for you. How so?

A: Something really interesting happened to me on this film. Because of the relationship that Night and I developed on "The Sixth Sense," as actor and director and as friends, we developed an extraordinary level of trust that you generally don't get. As an actor, you move from movie to movie and seldom get to work with a director twice. So we started at a much higher level of communication. And that allowed me to put my performance in Night's hands.

Q: That's a candid admission. Can you amplify that?

A: We spent a great deal of time talking about what my character would and would not do. How he would talk. How he's also not as smart as everyone else in the room. We laid down the rules of the character in his world and really stuck to it. When I saw the rough cut of this, I realized that all the things we worked on so hard had really worked. That's an extraordinary thing for an actor, because that doesn't always happen. A lot of it has to do with our being friends.

Q: Do you see any common threads in your films?

A: Well, every movie that has ever been made is about some form of heroism. Movies, since movies began, are morality plays about good and evil. There are very few movies where the bad guys win in the end and evil overcomes good. People wouldn't go to movies if that were so. People want to be reassured that good does exist in the world.

Q: You recently said you were bored with action movies.

A: The genre of action movies has run itself into the ground. I'm waiting for it to reinvent itself.

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