Legendary actor Bruce Willis had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) last month. The retired actor stepped out in Santa Monica on Thursday. FTD symptoms often arise in younger patients between the ages of 40 and 65, according to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
During the filming sessions in which the actor was present, people present could already sense that something was not right. He had difficulty in holding conversations, coupled with not being able to connect words correctly. Bruce Willis’ wife also opened up about her husband’s prognosis.
“When you live the world of dementia you know that options are slim,” Emma Heming Willis wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of herself with her friend Max Lugavere. “But some won’t take that lying down which is how change is made, and I got to witness the beauty in that last night.”
Now, a prop master on the crime thriller “Midnight in the Switchgrass” said that while filming the movie in 2020, Bruce Willis’ symptoms of aphasia were so bad that he sometimes seemed to forget he was on a movie set.
Bruce Willis memory issues
Speaking in the “The Randall Scandal,” a new documentary from the Los Angeles Times and ABC News on Hulu that details allegations of producer and director Randall Emmett’s abusive behavior, Alicia Haverland said that while filming a scene set in a diner, Willis appeared to believe he actually was in a diner.
Haverland explained that when she’d pour Willis more coffee in order to reset the scene for a new take, Willis seemingly didn’t understand that they were filming and addressed her as if she were a waitress at a diner.
“I go over to repour the coffee, and we’re probably doing take number seven or eight, and he puts his hand on the coffee, looks me dead in the eye, and goes, ‘Oh no, ma’am, I don’t want anymore,'” Haverland recalled in the documentary. She said she tried to explain that she was refilling his cup for the scene, and he didn’t understand. Instead, according to Haverland, he asked her if he had ordered more coffee.
Haverland recalled in the documentary that she decided to pretend she was a waitress and tell him that he ordered more coffee to finish filming the scene. She described Willis’ behavior as “heartbreaking” to watch.