While last year marked the 25th anniversary of Die Hard, today is Bruce Willis’ 59th birthday. Oddly enough, we were nearly robbed of the John McClane we’ve come to know and love because Willis almost didn’t take the role. The actor sat down with David Letterman last December and explained that if Cybill Shepherd hadn’t gotten pregnant during Moonlighting, he may have never had the time to film Die Hard. On behalf of America, I’d just like to say thank you for getting knocked up, Ms. Shepherd.
As well-known as Bruce Willis’ body of work is, there have been some incredibly meaty roles that he’s missed out on over the years. Sometimes it was due to other projects that seemed more appealing, and other times it was merely because he lost out to other actors like John Travolta. Here are 10 movies that almost had Bruce Willis in their credits.
1. Police Academy — 1984, Bruce auditioned for the part of Mahoney but lost out to Steve Guttenberg.
2. Fatal Attraction — 1987, wisely, Bruce opted to do Die Hard instead.
3. Ghost — 1990, turned down the lead of Sam Wheat which of course went to Patrick Swayze.
4. Speed — 1994, Bruce got an offer for the lead role in the high octane flick, but turned it down in the end.
5. Get Shorty — 1995, Bruce Willis was considered for John Travolta’s character of Chili Palmer.
6. The General’s Daughter — 1999, again Bruce Willis is considered for the lead role that would go to John Travolta.
7. Training Day — 2001, Bruce was offered the villainous role of Alonzo Harris, but turned it down and took a part in Bandits instead.
8. Ocean’s Eleven — 2001, Bruce was cast in Andy Garcia’s part of Terry Benedict, but dropped out to do an album instead.
9. Once Upon A Time In Mexico — 2003, both Bruce Willis and Kurt Russell were considered for the part of Sands that went to Johnny Depp.
10. Man On Fire — 2004, Bruce was considered for the lead character, Creasy, which would go to Denzel Washington.