Terry Gilliam was hesitant to cast Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys because of his ‘rectal’-looking mouth: ‘It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s a**hole’

Terry Gilliam was hesitant to cast Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys because of his ‘rectal’-looking mouth: ‘It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s a**hole’

Terry Gilliam was hesitant to cast Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys because of his ‘rectal’-looking mouth: ‘It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s a**hole’

Terry Gilliam was hesitant to cast Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys because of his ‘rectal’-looking mouth: ‘It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s a**hole’

Terry Gilliam has revealed that he initially did not want to cast Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys, stating that he was particularly concerned by the actor’s “rectal”-looking mouth.

Gilliam’s acclaimed 1995 sci-fi thriller stars Willis as James Cole, a man sent back in time to stop the world’s population from being wiped out by a virus.

In a new interview with Inverse, the director admitted that he had been hesitant to cast Willis in the main role and that he had “never been a great fan” of the actor’s.

“I had never been a great fan of Bruce’s before, but I liked talking to him and I thought, ‘Ok, this guy’s smart, he’s funny,’” he said.

Gilliam continued to reveal that one of his biggest “concerns” in casting Willis was the appearance of his mouth, which he called “Trumpian” and “rectal”.

(Rex Features)

The 80-year-old said: “I explained to [Willis] my concerns about him as an actor. I hated the Trumpian mouth he does in films. 

“Rectal. It’s like I’m looking at somebody’s a**hole.”

Discussing the casting process for his cult classic, Gilliam spoke about how “the pressure was to get a movie star in” and revealed that he had turned away Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage.  

“That was at a time when I was still a hot director, so people wanted to come near me and touch me,” he said. “So they were coming up with all these names. And I just kept saying no. Tom Cruise, Nic Cage, they were all being thrown at me.”

The Monty Python star divulged that Willis’s co-star Brad Pitt had also wanted to play the part of James Cole, however, was instead cast as the film’s antagonist, Jeffrey Goines.

Last year, the outspoken director made a series of provocative statements during an interview with The Independent in which he elaborated on why he thinks #MeToo is a “witch hunt” and declared that he was “tired of white men being blamed for everything wrong with the world”.


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