My life over the last thirteen years has been a series of wish-fulfillments so consistently mind-blowing (at least to me) as to presuppose that, at some point in my deep, dark past, I sold my soul to Satan (“Angel Heart” style – complete with the caveat that I not recall the diabolical deal until Bob DeNiro drops me in an elevator to Hell). Whether it’s been warranted or not (and whether I’ve deserved it or not), it’s nonetheless true. There are some mornings when I swear I’m living someone else’s life… until I look down, am unable to see my cock beneath my hanging gut, and realize “No – it’s you, alright.” Truly, I’ve been blessed. Hate me if you must (some really do).
But, as if that’s not enough for me to be slobberingly grateful for, check this out: lately, I’ve been having dreams I didn’t even REALIZE I had, come true.
For example: for years, I have been in love with Bruce Willis. Not the “Drop your nuts in my mouth” kinda love, mind you; the “Oh my God – Bruce Willis is the coolest motherfucker on the planet” type of adoration we reserve for the people who set the tone of our early, impressionable years.
Back in the day, I was (and still remain) a massive (in spirit and girth) “Moonlighting” fan. David Addison – like Eric “Otter” Stratton in “Animal House”, Tripper Harrison in “Meatballs”, John Winger in “Stripes” before him – was a smoothie of the highest order: quick with a quip and always in complete control of any situation; even those beyond his ken. Outside of all that delicious rat-a-tat dialogue that comprised nearly every episode of “Moonlighting”, one of my all-time favorite moments in scripted television history (right up there with Cooper’s backwards-talking-midget dream in “Twin Peaks”, Dan, Roseanne and Jackie getting stoned in “Roseanne”, and the Galactica “jumping” into a fast-dropping orbit above New Caprica) is in the Paul Sorvino ep entitled “The Son Also Rises”, at the close of which Addison is dancing with Maddie Hayes at his father’s wedding to Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love”. Check out that scene, if you ever get a chance: the man is a goddamned pimp. And since David Addison is, essentially, just Bruce Willis with a different name, Willis is, by extension, a goddamned pimp too.
What wasn’t there for me to like about Bruce Willis? He was from New Jersey. He did commercials for Seagram’s Golden Wine Coolers (the booze of choice for my burgeoning teenage alcoholic taste buds). He recorded an album that was the soundtrack of my entire junior year (“The Return of Bruno”), when Ernie O’Donnell was the first in our class to get his license, and Ern, Mike Belicose and I spent the semester in his shitty old truck with no heat, hitting the Movies at Middletown and trolling from party-to-party on the weekends. I learned to drive in that ol’ beater with “Respect Yourself” blasting from a “Bruno” cassette in a sound system that cost more than the used car itself. Bruce Willis was, for all intents and purposes, the phantom member of our trio: the guy we all wanted to be.
And that was BEFORE “Die Hard”.
My summer of ’88 was wiled away watching John McClane make fists with his toes, pull glass out of those same feet, curse like a sailor while he desperately kicked the ass of a thug twice his size, and stumble, half-dead, out of a building by flick’s end – one of the first action movie heroes to actually appear damaged by the adventure he’d just undertaken. What started out as a revenge-date I went on with Shannon Furey (in which I’d hoped to make my ex-girlfriend Kim Loughran jealous enough to reunite with me), ended with my longtime interest in pussy taking a backseat to my newfound interest in the events of Christmas Eve at Nakatomi Plaza. With that viewing, the term “Die Hard” went from being the brand of a car battery Sears made to shorthand for every action movie of the next ten years that aped its formula: “Die Hard” in a bus, “Die Hard” on a train, etc.
“Mortal Thoughts”, “Billy Bathgate”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “12 Monkeys”, “Armageddon”, “The Fifth Element”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Unbreakable” – I’d follow Willis’ career anywhere (even to “Hudson Hawk”). Last year, I was beside myself when they released “The New Twilight Zone” on DVD, because it meant I could finally re-watch the Wes Craven directed segment entitled “Shatterday” – in which Bruce Willis, as Peter Jay Novins, accidentally dials his home phone number and hears an alternate version of himself answer. This past summer, while in Cannes with “Clerks II”, I watched the daily festival coverage in French just to see the man arrive on the red carpet for the “Over the Hedge” screening.
Fuck you all: I am an unabashed Bruce Willis fag.
So last week, after I wrapped the “Manchild” pilot (which went phenomenally), the very next morning, I reported to work on a flick that’d reveal a heretofore unrealized dream I’d unwittingly harbored since I first watched David Addison limbo in the Moonlighting Detective Agency offices, twenty years prior…
For five days, I acted opposite Bruce Willis in this summer’s “Live Free or Die Hard”
To Be Continued…