'What Is This'
7 Sons of Soul
RUNNING, SHOOTING, SCREAMING FOR “16 Blocks”
And A Conversation With Bruce Willis About the Film
By: Stephanie R. Green
Contributing Arts & Entertainment Journalist
DAVID MORSE as Frank Nugent and BRUCE WILLIS
as Jack Mosley star in Alcon Entertainment and
Millennium Films "16 Blocks" distributed by Warner
I sat down to talk with Bruce about his
portrayal of Detective Jack Mosley and the
following is some of our dialogue.
Q: Bruce, you’ve portrayed many different
types of cops, by now, you must have an
encyclopedic knowledge about them, can
you talk about your insights and why do
cops fascinate you?
BW: I think it’s partly because I’m from South
Jersey and I have a strong affinity towards
working class people. I believe that any job
that requires you to possibly get shot at or
shot dead, you should be paid hundreds of
thousands of dollars for. These guys aren’t
paid anything. Yet, they go out there and do it
and there are not a lot of them out there.
They are the last line between us - the
wolves and the chaos that’s out in the world.
There’s a lot of chaos in the world. All these
guys, cops, EMT workers, emergency room
doctors and nurses, and men and women
that every night have to see horrific things,
there should be thousands of films done
about these guys. And, they should be paid
more money, a lot more money.
L-r: Director RICHARD DONNER, BRUCE WILLIS and MOS DEF on the set of Alcon
Entertainment and Millennium Films "16 Blocks" distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
New York, NY March 2, 2006 - Warner Bros. will
release their new film “16 Blocks” on Friday,
March 3rd. The film stars the talents of Bruce
Willis, Mos Def and David Morse.
Bruce Willis stars as Detective Jack Mosley,
an alcoholic whose dilapidated lifestyle has
caused him to walk with a limp and he
passes the time until his retirement. He’s
given the daunting task of escorting a
prisoner to court to testify against crooked
Mos Def stars as Eddie Bunker, the criminal
who has turned states-evidence against one
of NYC’s precincts.
David Morse stars as Homicide Detective
Frank Nugent a crooked detective who will go
the lengths to keep his and his crews
mishandling's of pedestrians a secret,
because many times they had to break some
rules and cross the line of decency to bring
down the bad guys.
This film is action driven as Detective Mosley
uses his skills to maintain the safe
transference of Eddie Bunker from the
jailhouse to the courthouse.
Both Mosley and Eddie’s lives become
entangled in a web of danger as they play a
game of cat and mouse with Mosley’s former
partner, Detective Frank Nugent, and the rest
of the officers.
The exchange of gunfire between Mosley and
the other officers takes place in a witty sort of
Detective Mosley even has to commandeer a
passenger loaded NYC bus to assist with
the safe keeping of the prisoner.
Action driven and extremely entertaining for
the exception of the voice used by Eddie,
which is irritating to say the least.
Q: This is one of your great character roles, the mustache, the limping, the booze, but the paunchy stomach – is
there too much of a de-glamorization going on, do you consider that a big risk with this movie, like it’s not really
Bruce Willis the macho action star that’s doing this movie?
BW: I don’t consider any of those things. They’re all elements in the script. Richard Wenk, the screenwriter never wrote
that my character had to be overweight but I’ve known guys similar to Mosley and thought it was a good idea. But that
said it could have just been another stupid run-down-the-street or limp-down-the-street Bruce Willis film. This film didn’t
really come together until Mos Def showed up with the character of Eddie. No one knew what he was going to do. All we
knew was that we were fortunate enough to get him. And he showed up with a character that was genius. That’s not
him, he doesn’t talk like that nor does he act like that. He’s a very smart creative young man. And it changed the fabric of
the film. It changed the way we all looked at the film. There is sort of a spontaneous chemistry happening in this film that
I’m not sure would have happened had it been another actor. I was asked yesterday, how do you feel working with a
rapper turned actor. I don’t think about Mos Def in that way at all. I think that he is an actor, and if he wants to do poetry,
then he can do that. If he wants to rap, then he can do that. But he is an actor and he’s a very creative guy. Everybody
benefited from his performance in this film, especially me, my character.
Q: You are one of the few major Hollywood stars who are proud to be Republican.
BW: Let me stop you right there. I’m a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government
intrusion, I want them to stop pissing on my money and your money, the tax dollars that we give, 50% or 40% of every
year, and I want them to be fiscally responsible, I want these g-damn lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I’ll say I’m
a Republican. But other than that, I want the government to take care of people who need help, like the kids in foster
care, the half a million kids who are in orphanages right now, they call them foster homes, but they’re orphanages. I
want them to take care of the elderly and give them free medicine, give them whatever they need. There’s tons, billions
and billions of dollars that are just being wasted. I hate government; I’m political! Write that down, I’m not a Republican.
Q: You’re very clear on your beliefs, do you think it’s legitimate to use violence in order to do the right thing?
BW: Occasionally. Occasionally, when push comes to shove, I’m not a violent man nor do I advocate violence. I will say
this, the example that comes to mind is I think what the United States and everyone who cares about protecting the
freedoms that the largest part of the free world now has, should do whatever it takes to end terrorism in the world. Not
just in the Middle East. I’m talking also about going to Columbia and doing whatever it takes to end the cocaine trade. It’
s killing this country. It’s killing all the countries that coke goes in to. I believe that somebody’s making money on it in the
US, if they weren’t making money on it, they would have stopped it. They could stop it in one day, it’s just a plant that they
grow and these guys are growing it like it’s corn or tobacco or any other thing. By the time it gets here, it becomes a
billion dollar industry and I think that’s a form of terrorism as well. I don’t know what this had to do with 16 Blocks, oh
violence… look; we live in a violent world. This country was founded on violence. Who’s kidding whom? We came here
and said to the Native Americans, okay, we got some bad news, we got some pretty bad news and we got some really
bad news. The bad news is we’re here. The pretty bad news is we’re not leaving. The really bad news is we’re going to
take all your land, every tiny little bit of land that you guys have and put you on this little postage stamp of a desert where
you can’t grow a thing, unless of course we find oil on that land. Then, we’ll move you to another little postage stamp
place in Arizona, and we’re going to f___ you over and give you blankets filled with smallpox and if that’s not violence,
then what is? What is… so, I’m a Political, could I be any clearer?
Q: Bruce, with you doing so many films involving numbers, do you think there is any significance in numbers?
BW: If you’re asking me about numerology, I don’t believe any of that s___. I mean maybe, who knows. Here’s what I
believe, there are many things in the world that happen that are inexplicable but still happen. And I accept that, and that to
me is part of what I call God. But God is also the little bud that comes out on the trees, little babies that are born. That’s
my God; but organized religion, you can set on fire.
Stephanie R. Green is an A & E Journalist in New
York City. Email Address: SRG4Facts@aol.com