Belfast Telegraph

Bruce Willis: Broadway play is scary

Bruce Willis struggles to contain his laughter when onstage with Misery co-star Laurie Metcalf.

Actor Bruce Willis has described his Broadway debut as "highly scary".

The Die Hard star's new show Misery, an adaptation of author Stephen King's thriller, opened on Sunday night (15Nov15) at the Broadhurst Theatre and Bruce has shared his thoughts on the production with the New York Daily News' Confidenti@l column.

"Scary play, highly scary play," he said. "It’s just as funny as it is scary. I’m very surprised by the kind of laughs that we get that aren’t written into the script.”

Misery was also adapted into a movie in 1990 and starred James Caan as writer Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates as his psychotic fan Annie Wilkes.

Bruce stars alongside Laurie Metcalf and her onstage antics make it hard for the 60-year-old to keep a straight face at times.

“It’s so funny sometimes I have to duck my head and not smile… She cracks me up," he added.

Despite their onstage fun, the reviews have not been kind, with many critics accusing Willis of transferring his "familiar screen persona" onto the stage, instead of embracing the character.

"Returning to the stage after three decades of film work, Willis acquits himself respectably so long as the role remains mostly reactive," wrote David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, "but, as (Die Hard character) John McClane - sorry, I mean Paul - regains his strength and resourcefulness, the actor's familiar screen persona of the smug tough guy kicks in, making it seem as if he's in on the joke and undercutting any real sense of danger..."

Marilyn Stasio of Variety added: "(Director) Will Frears lets Willis get away with murder by maintaining his sophisticated-author cool well beyond the point of believability. It takes the iconic scene in which a maddened Annie takes a sledgehammer to Paul's healed legs to get the star to drop his sultry half-smile."

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