Willis covers Esquire. (Yu Tsai)
Willis may not have any faith in his acting abilities, but producers and directors certainly do. He currently has five movies coming out this year, beginning with Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," sequels to "G.I. Joe" and "The Expendables, "The Cold Light of Day" with Sigourney Weaver, and the sci-fi thriller, "Looper," which Willis describes as "better than anything I've ever done." Written by "Brick" director Rian Johnson, it stars Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the older and younger version of a time-traveling corporate assassin. "Rian did an amazing thing," boasts Willis. "He conceived an original story … It's more than an original story. It's a story people are going to talk about, and see twice. And argue about. I was arguing with myself about the story when I read it the first time."
Willis puts on his best poker face. (Yu Tsai)
When promotion wraps on all five films, Willis' next project is yet another installment in the "Die Hard" franchise, which made its debut in 1989. Although he claims he's not keen on sequels — despite the fact he's been in a lot — he realizes it's a sign of the times in Hollywood. "I got into the business before there ever were such things," he explains. "We just said, 'Let's make another one.' We did that with 'Die Hard.' 'Let's make another John McClane movie.' Now they don't want to make a movie unless there are two sequels ready to go."
Willis and his guns. (Yu Tsai)
As for the lesson he's learned with all that estrogen surrounding him, Willis shares it's resisting the urge to speak. "It's my No. 1 rule," he says. "It's more about being a father. I'd rather hear what they have to say. You learn more by listening." Willis also divulges a characteristic that seems a little shocking coming from the sometimes-icy, brooding action star. "I make them laugh. You gotta do the drool-take, gotta make them see that goofiness is still safe. You have to make them laugh at you."
If Willis is actually comical in real life, then he truly is a good actor.
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