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bruce willis.jpg

Bruce Willis Is the Most Versatile Actor in Hollywood Right Now

By Josh Kurp | Think Pieces | May 29, 2012 |

By Josh Kurp | Think Pieces | May 29, 2012 |

This article began, as many of my articles do, as a list. It was titled “The 10 Most Versatile Actors/Actresses of All-Time” or some such nonsense that I’m currently making fun of even though I make much of my Internet Money off of them. I included many of the usual, easy-to-characterize suspects, like Jim Carrey (rubberfaced comedian-turned-dramatic actor with awesome sweaters in one of the best movies of the 2000s), Robin Williams (manic cokehead-turned-photo lab creep), and Will Smith (Fresh Prince-turned-action star-turned-creator of demon children), which makes sense considering this exact versatility list has been done dozens of times before.

But then, while doing research (read: Google-ing variations of “versatile actor”), I thought of Bruce Willis and knew that he had to be included. Willis, obviously, would be the tough guy-turned-voice actor-turned-Wes Anderson “sad sheriff,” because of his work in Die Hard, Look Who’s Talking, and Moonrise Kingdom, all roles that were met with praise (yes, even talking baby comedy Look Who’s Talking), for entirely different reasons. Something didn’t feel right, though. His role in Die Hard, as reluctant hero John McClane, was actually an entirely different kind of part than the one that made him a star in the first place: David Addison on “Moonlighting,” TV’s greatest rom-com.

It struck me: Bruce Willis is the most versatile actor in Hollywood right now, and maybe of all-time. Don’t believe me? Well, he can do:

Whimsical drama (Moonrise Kingdom)

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Smart science fiction (The Fifth Element and 12 Monkeys)

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Dumb science fiction (Armageddon)

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Crime (Billy Bathgate)

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Reluctant hero (Die Hard and all its various sequels)

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Fiction, pulp (Pulp Fiction)

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Fiction, politics (The Bonfire of the Vanities)

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Thrillers…WITH A TWIST (The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable)

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Musician (The Return of Bruno)

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Spoofs (Loaded Weapon 1)

bruce willis Loaded Weapon 1.jpg

All-star action (The Expendables and The Expendables 2)

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Based on a graphic novel (Sin City)

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Exploitation (Grindhouse)

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War (Hart’s War)

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Producer (The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course)

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Voiceover, Non-Animation (Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too)

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Voiceover, Animation (Beavis and Butt-head Do America and Rugrats Go Wild)

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Bad sequels to bad movies (The Whole Ten Yards and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle)

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Buddy comedy, minus the comedy unintentionally (Cop Out)

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Buddy comedy, minus the comedy intentionally (The Last Boy Scout)

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Kids movie (Disney’s The Kid)

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Whatever the fuck this was (Hudson Hawk)

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Sitcom (“Friends”)

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Cheesy 80s Crime Drama, TV (“Miami Vice”)

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Romantic Comedy, TV (“Moonlighting”)

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A bunny (North)

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