Bruce Willis Surprising Retirement Brings out an Apology From Kevin Smith Over 'Cop Out'

Bruce Willis touched a lot of fans and fellow film professionals over the years. One notable case was Clerks director Kevin Smith and his love, distaste and returning love for the Die Hard star over the years. With Willis retiring from acting and revealing a harrowing diagnosis of aphasia, Smith addressed his past with Willis and offered an apology for telling the story so many times.

Smith posted his message on Twitter after the news broke of Willis' condition and the end of his acting career. A damning LA Times story on Willis' recent career peeled back the curtain on his perceived lackluster output in recent years, showing that the action icon had been suffering through his work for quite a while. After the light had been shined on Willis, Smith took back some of his comments.

The original story stretches back to the pair's work on Live Free or Die Hard, where Smith had a cameo as Warlock and shared some memorable scenes with Willis and co-star Justin Long. This eventually led to Willis wanting to work with fellow New Jersey native Smith, leading to Cop Out with Tracy Morgan. The results were a middling comedy cop movie and plenty of fodder for Smith to share in interviews, stage shows and in his books.

Many outlets cite Smith's interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast, calling the experience challenging and that Willis was not helpful during production. "I've never been involved in a situation like that where one component is not in the box at all. It was f-king soul-crushing," Smith told the comedian. "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-king help from this dude whatsoever."

Not every interaction with Smith and Willis was terrible, and it offered quite a lot of stories that are worth seeking out. This includes Smith re-writing dialogue for Willis on Die Hard 4 while they bonded over their love of Tastykake, Smith trying to pull a Moonlighting performance out of Willis and succeeding after sweating bullets, and Willis trying to ad-lib with Morgan on the first day of shooting. Seek it out if you've never heard it.

To his credit, Willis has not publicly blasted Smith for his comments or their working relationship. According to Digital Spy, the sole time Willis mentioned Smith's criticism didn't have any of the bites the Clerks director had over the years.

"Poor Kevin. He's just a whiner, you know? We had some personal issues about how we approached work," Willis told Time Out magazine (via Digital Spy). "I don't have an answer for him. I'm never going to call him out and lay him out in public. Sometimes you just don't get along." Hopefully, both can bury this hatchet, given the circumstances. It also shows how people change over time.

Smith wasn't the only foil walking back their comments following the news about Bruce Willis. The Razzies also took back their award given to Willis over his career in recent years.