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Liam Neeson thought of Bruce Willis.
The actor is starring in his latest action movie titled “Memory,” which premieres April 29. He plays a deadly assassin in the face of Alzheimer’s disease.
The 69-year-old said he couldn’t help but think of Willis, who recently retired after being diagnosed with aphasia.
“My heart goes out to him,” Neeson told the New York Post Monday. “I think of him every day. It’s particularly poignant, isn’t it? I wish him the best. »
NEW BRUCE WILLIS FILM CO-STAR ON HIS LEGACY AFTER APHASIA AND RETIREMENT
On March 30, it was announced that Willis was stepping down from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that results in the loss of the ability to understand or express speech.
In a statement posted to Willis’ Instagram page, the 67-year-old actor’s family said his cognitive abilities had been affected.
“As a result and with great consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that meant so much to him,” read the statement signed by Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore and his five children, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.
“We’re going through this as a strong family unit and we wanted to bring in his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,” they said. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that. »
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In “Memory,” a remake of the 2003 Belgian film “The Memory of a Killer,” Neeson’s character must face his greatest battle, a harsh reality some face as they grow older.
The action star admitted to the outlet that he was scared of Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that affects memory and other vital mental functions.
“It’s crossed my mind many times, especially when you can’t remember the name of an actor I worked with two or three years ago,” Neeson said. ” That bothers me. But maybe we all suffer from it. »
“While researching this, I watched very traumatic documentaries about the affliction of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and of course read books about it,” he said. he shares. “And I have a friend in Ireland, who is older than me, [who] has very definite early stages of dementia, which is traumatic to see… It’s a horrible affliction. It really is. »
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“I know several actors in London… who have lost the ability to learn lines,” Neeson continued. “They just can’t learn the material. And these are actors who have given extraordinary performances on stage, in film and on television. ”
Neeson dealt with his own personal grief. His wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died in 2009 aged 45 from a brain injury following a skiing accident. The widower told the outlet that he no longer sees himself getting married.
“No, I think I’m going to be alone,” he said.
Willis’ diagnosis sparked conversations about aphasia, which has many potential causes. It often occurs after a stroke or head injury, but can also develop gradually due to a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes degenerative damage, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is treated mainly by speech therapy and learning non-verbal means of communication.
BRUCE WILLIS AND THE CRUELTY OF APHASIA
Willis’ family has not disclosed the cause of his aphasia. Representatives for the actor declined to comment.
News of Willis, one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, immediately spread online as fans reacted. His four-decade career has amassed more than $5 billion at the box office worldwide,
Willis had worked steadily and frequently. Renowned for films like “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense,” Willis has in recent years produced direct-to-video thrillers. Last year, he starred in eight stunning films. Most came and went quietly, including tracks like “Cosmic Sin,” “Out of Death,” and “Deadlock.”
Most recently, Willis starred in “Gasoline Alley” and “A Day to Die” in February, released in early March. Willis has already filmed at least six other films slated for release in 2022 and 2023, including “Die Like Lovers,” “Corrective Measures” and “The Wrong Place.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Liam Neeson Says Bruce Willis Has Been On His Mind Since Filming ‘Memory’: ‘I Think About Him Every Day’ – Up News Info News in France and abroad