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Willis, Director Give New Leg to Refugee,
(Support Willis at the Box Office)
Gwinnett Daily Post ^
| Friday, March 7, 2003
Posted on 03/07/2003 9:57:06 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
CLARKSTON After appearing in the new Bruce Willis movie Tears of the Sun, John Anyak received a special gift from Willis and the movies director, Antoine Fuqua.
They spent $20,000 to buy a new artificial leg for the Sudanese refugee to replace the one he wore out in four months of filming in the jungles of Hawaii.
They did something I will never forget, Anyak said. Anyak, who lives in an east Atlanta suburb, had no acting experience, but the movie needed someone to play the role of an African war amputee. Anyak lost his left leg during the civil war in Sudan in the 1980s.
I was worried because I didnt know how to do it, Anyak said. How will I go there, and I dont know how to do the movie?
His anxiety subsided after Willis chatted with him and five Sudanese friends from the Atlanta area who also had roles in the movie, which opens Friday.
Everybody liked us because Bruce liked us, Anyak said. Anyak was separated from his parents when he was about 8 and joined thousands of boys wandering East Africa. Anyak said a bullet smashed into his left leg as he ran from attackers one night.
You think you will die when youre shot and nobody is with you, he said. You think a lot of things. He received a wooden leg and crutches and was sent to a Kenyan refugee camp, where he and thousands of others spent nearly 10 years. They came to be called the Lost Boys of Sudan. About 3,800 have resettled in the United States.
In Georgia, Anyak got an artificial leg from David Holcomb, a Canton man who owns a prosthetics company. When Holcomb got a call from a Hollywood production company looking for African amputees, he contacted Anyak.
I couldnt imagine going through what they did, said Fuqua, who also directed Training Day. You look in their faces and look in their eyes and it keeps you honest.
On Monday, Anyak attended a private screening of the movie in Atlanta with friends who are also in the movie Gam Awino, Gabriel Gai, Santino Garang, Abraham Nhiany and Nathaniel Nyok.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: barbarity; brucewillis; democracy; diplomacy; ethniccleansing; greed; lostboys; massacres; tearsofthesun; unitednations; war
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About the film
"In real life, the 47-year-old action star laments that not enough credit is given to the nation's military. ``These guys are the real heroes,'' he said. ``I'm just an actor.''
As a small gesture of support -- and at the urging of his youngest daughter, Tallulah -- Willis had 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies shipped to American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan last year.
The New Jersey-raised actor and outspoken Republican said he wouldn't mind spending the rest of his career playing military men on the screen. Entertainment News
Mixed reviews on this film, but if planning to see a movie this weekend; let's put out money down at the box office and support Willis in 'Tears of the Sun'.
Willis, who turns 48 on March 19, sits down with journalists for what turns into a casual, civil and thoughtful conversation about his new film Tears Of The Sun, which opens today. It was shot a year ago in extremely rugged conditions on a remote, rain-soaked part of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
QUESTION: Why talk at all?
BRUCE WILLIS: "I don't avoid it. Look, to be honest with you, the whole system of sending actors out to promote films is something that I've always found a little awkward. If I could get away with not doing it, I wouldn't do it. But it's part of the culture of films and part of the business of what is a huge, huge business that you're (the media) part of as well. It's part of promoting a film and I'm very proud of this film."
Q: What makes Tears different from most action movies?
BW: "I don't think this is just an action picture. It's a drama, I guess, at heart. And it's a rescue mission. It's about a group of eight Navy SEALs who try to help people get out harm's way."
Q: That could still be played as action cliche. What distinguishes this one from all the others?
BW: "Well, there's a lot of heart in this film. Look, all films, except for comedies, are really about good triumphing over evil. It's all basically the same story. (But) I'm glad you saw the subtleties that we got into the film. We worked very hard on it. This is, by far, the hardest film I've ever done, both physically and emotionally."
Q: You play the commander of the SEALs. If you did not become a movie star, could you see yourself as one?
BW: "I don't know. But those guys are my heroes. I did a lot of research on the Navy SEALs, and what they have to go through, and I'm not sure I'd be able to survive that. It's a pretty tough training program they have to go through."
Q: Choosing the real military pack and not the fake "Hollywood" pack stuff with foam and rubber, you trained for the film with retired SEALs vet Harry Humphries, who also worked on Black Hawk Down. Describe the sessions.
BW: "If you want to lose about 18 pounds, put on a 65-pound pack, go to Hawaii and run through the jungles in 100-degree heat."
Q: What is the most impressive thing about the real deal?
BW: "Just the code of ethics of the Navy SEALs -- how strong that is and how anonymously they do their jobs. I mean, they are heroes, but they are unsung heroes."
Q: Your co-star, Italian Monica Bellucci, said you were extremely generous as a co-star. What about her?
BW: "I think she's a terrific actress and, I think you would agree, she is very easy to look at. Even with that mud on her."
Q: Speaking of mud, and the tough conditions of the shoot, what was the most difficult scene to mount?
BW: "You know, I don't think there was one easy day, one easy scene. But we got to do some really fun things. We actually got to go on an aircraft carrier. That was really an amazing experience. That is one of the cool things about the job that I have -- I get to go places and see things and do things that a lot of other people don't get to do. I was standing probably 10 feet away from an F-16 taking off on this aircraft carrier deck and it was a singular experience."
Q: You don't sound jaded about being an actor. Is that true?
BW: "I still love acting. I'm still challenged by it. I still get a big kick out of it. If I could paint, I would paint. If I could sculpt, I would do that. But one of the things you guys seldom write about is the fact that acting, for actors, is an artistic expression. It's a way to express yourself creatively and I still enjoy it. I still enjoy acting a lot."
Q: After the failure of Hart's War, which was set in World War II, was making another war movie a concern?
BW: "I don't think you can tell enough stories about soldiers and the very, very difficult job that soldiers all over the world have. And that is to keep the bad guys on the other side of the line."
Q: Does your action-hero image get in the way of acting?
BW: "No. I think people make that association less these days. And it doesn't bother me. I work hard on every film that I do. I have so little control over how a film is received or perceived."
Q: What role does your blues-rock band play in your life?
BW: "You know, music is the last thing I get to do that I don't have to assign any financial reward to -- for (what are) apparent reasons: I'm not a very good singer. But I have a ball playing music and it's nice to have something that is really a hobby that I still get to do. It's just a hoot." -- BRUCE KIRKLANDINTERVIEW-- Toronto Sun March 7, 2003
I'd like to let you know that you have convinced one man. Haven't been the movies in a while. Will go see this one. I'm committed to it. Thanks.
posted on 03/07/2003 10:07:12 PM PST
I wouldn't support a movie star at the box office, because of his politics, though I reserve the right to refuse to plunk down my money for one whose politics I despise. If I thought this movie was any good, I'd consider seeing it, but since even the trailers look like horsepoop, and Steve Sailer said it has virtually no screenplay, AND that Willis is lousy in it, I think I'll spend my money on something else.
posted on 03/07/2003 10:09:32 PM PST
posted on 03/07/2003 10:10:15 PM PST
(Take W-04........Across America!)
P.S. Maybe ten years ago, the New York Post
smuggled a party crasher into some exclusive soiree, miked him, and had a photographer follow him around. He said hello to the Willises. When Mr. Willis found out the guy was just an ordinary Joe, he lectured him about not knowing his place, before storming off.
I guess Willis had forgotten that not too long before, he had been working in a factory. I wonder how he would have appreciated some Hollywood producer lecturing him that he didn't know his place, and that he should go back to the factory in Jersey.
Fortunately for me, when I see Willis performing in a movie, being interviewed on TV, or sitting in for David Letterman, I rarely recall what a pathetic snob he really is.
Indeed, I wish I didn't know anything about any performers' politics or stupid personalities. Such knowledge makes it much harder to enjoy them as performers (think Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Cruise, et al.). Unfortunately, they insist on letting the whole world know how human, all-too-human they are.
posted on 03/07/2003 10:26:10 PM PST
I don't know if I trust a lot of the leftist film critics who are reviewing this film. I read at least a dozen reviews for this movie today, and I detected definite signs of bias against it, reviewers complaining more about the films politics (pro-military, pro-intervention) than the movie itself. Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post, who usually nails it, gave the film an unqualified rave. I'm definitely seeing this one tomorrow.
posted on 03/07/2003 10:40:05 PM PST
(Cool site I saw today - antiwarcelebwatch.blogspot.com)
A Die-Hard Hollywood Republican bump.
anyone know how to send mr willis support email regarding this?
posted on 03/07/2003 11:49:15 PM PST
(it's easy to hide when no one is looking)
I think we need a page to honor those in the entertainment industry who support our nation. Willis is a good guy. I support the idea that we spend some bucks on his film this weekend. I'd also like to see him and others highlighted on a web page for their loyalty.
If folks will send me names, I'll take care of it.
posted on 03/08/2003 12:46:07 AM PST
(Are you going Freeps Ahoy! Don't miss the boat. Er ship...)
Bruce Willis is a class act both as a human being and actor. He gave $20,000 of his own money from this movie to help John Anyak, a Sudanese refugee get a new artificial leg. Liberals talk about compassion but conservatives actually practice it. And one should see Tears Of The Sun despite what the leftist film critics say because its a tribute to our nation's military. Now you can guess why the Left hates this film: they despise our military and then they loathe Bruce's politics. Two good reasons to watch this actor and this is his best bravura performance since Die Hard . Yeah, he always knows how to take out the bad guys on screen, LOL!
RottenTomatoes.com rounds up all the movie reviews on the net, and they have this one at 35% positive overall, but among the major recognized critics, it's 47% positive, about an even split. To check them all out, go to http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/TearsoftheSun-1120908/
I have a feeling that a lot of the negatives arise from the leftist, anti-military politics of the reviewers. I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly for the radio comedy service I write, but it galls me the way they constantly insert their liberal views and little digs at Bush and Republicans into stories that have no relation to politics. I think they just hang out with people who all "think" exactly the same way they do, and they are so used to being leftist a-holes, they don't even realize they're letting it pop up in their writing. They probably think, "I'm not making a political statement! I'm just saying what everyone thinks!" And obviously, their editors "think" the same way, because it always makes it into the magazine. They'd better be glad I'm not their editor, or my blue pencil and I would teach them a few basic journalism lessons PDQ.
posted on 03/08/2003 3:56:29 AM PST
Those who like Willis' other movies will probably go to see this one.
It is much the same as the others, only noticeably slower.
Belluci displays generous, uh... virtues. According to a brief net search (watch out for the pop-ups) she will be in Matrix Reloaded too.
Hart's War was a much better movie, although it was also slow (too slow, imho) in places. But Hart's War had some real characters, and a better plot, while Tears had just cardboard characters and a predictable plot.
The aircraft carrier scenes (landings and takeoffs) were cool for hardware junkies, and the jungle scenes made one wonder where it was actually filmed. Tom Skerritt gives a good supporting role as Willis' commander on the carrier.
It think most of those predisposed to like Willis will still like the movie.
posted on 03/08/2003 4:08:45 AM PST
I will support Willis for standing up in support of our military men and women; and while this will not be an academy award winning film, I think I can part with the $6.50. If you want an excellent film you might want to see The Pianist. I didn't want to support this director, but this film all Americans should see.
Willis also tried to enlist, but the cut off age is 34.
People change..I am sure you have changed, I know I have!
I enjoy watching how promotions for movies evolve. I noticed how the promotions for this movie kept changing. A few weeks ago, commercials aired scenes backed up with an unsuitable sound track of what passes for rock music and a tag line that claimed this was the best war movie since 'Black Hawk Down'. The sound track didn't seem to fit (though that could just be that I am getting old). That they claimed it was the best since Black Hawk Down didn't say much since not many war movies have come out since then (not many that I am aware of). The commercials then changed to a sound track better suited for a war movie (dramatic crescendos et al) and a claim that ties the movie in with the star; the best movie since Die Hard. Big shoes to fill IMHO, but no matter, Die Hard was then, this is now. Still, much of this movie seemed more akin to the laborious scenes in LOTR:TTT wherein Treebeard, Merry and Pippin (sic?) are walking, and walking, and walking, and, lamenting, and walking, and pontificating, and walking ad nauseam (ducking for cover).
I agree with things you sited about the movie; it was slow, had a limp plot, was predictable, and filled flat characters- all together about 30 minutes of usable stuff stretched out to 118 minutes. Perhaps the producers (or whoever makes such calls) could have re-tooled the movie, as they seemed to do with the promotions (at some immeasurable cost, financially and artistically).
All that said, I went in expecting nothing too similar to Die Hard. I wasn't disappointed. Laced between all the walking, there are scenes that are extremely graphic (I noticed a father and his two young daughters walk out, probably a good idea) and scenes that pull at the heart strings. The movie closes with a quote from Edmund Burke, that probably should have been part of the opening credits, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". And that made it all worth while.
I agree that Bruce is a class act.
posted on 03/08/2003 8:52:49 AM PST
(Are you going Freeps Ahoy! Don't miss the boat. Er ship...)
please see www.hollywood-hero.us That's where we honor past Hollywood Heroes and the new generation of actors brave enough to support President Bush
posted on 03/08/2003 9:32:31 AM PST
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