Bruce Willis’ colleague Tom Kavanagh says working with the actor in one of his last roles has been a “privilege.”

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Tom Kavanaugh stars as Bruce Willis, and he couldn’t be more grateful.

Iconic “Die Hard,” one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, plays an evil genius in TUBI’s “Corrective Actions,” an action-packed story based on the graphic novel of the same name.

The 67-year-old takes on the role of Julius “The Loop” Loop, a notorious inmate at St Tiburon, the world’s most dangerous maximum security prison. It’s home to monsters, traitorous criminals, super-villains and cyborgs, all under the control of 24 hour energy dampers and shock collars. Kavanagh, who plays Gordon “The Conductor” Tweedy, unleashes chaos in the prison system.

“It’s a privilege,” Kavanaugh told Fox News Digital of working with Willis in one of his recent roles. In March, the Willis family announced that the star was staying away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that causes a loss of the ability to understand or express speech.

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Tom Kavanagh (left) worked alongside Bruce Willis on Corrective Actions.
(Getty Images)

Kavanaugh, 58, said, “Being a younger actor, I remember being deeply affected by his leadership of the screen. It’s not as easy as people think to do small things and this project is big. Not every actor can do it. Not much does of the actors.

Kavanaugh referred to Willis’ Emmy-winning series alongside Cybele Shepherd, which ran from 1985 through 1989: “Even when Bruce was doing ‘Moonlighting,’ he had the ability to say anything and control the screen.”

And then, of course, he went to a blockbuster series, like Die Hard. But one of the things that Bruce would do and I always liked was the way he played a normal person in extraordinary circumstances. While he was saving the situation, he was scared and weak, and I think he’s part of appeal.”

Kavanagh said that, over the years, he’s been in awe of Willis’ ability to bring captivating characters to life. It was no different when it came to filming “Corrective Actions,” and Kavanagh insisted Willis was the real deal.

“People can relate to someone like that, unlike a superhero,” he explained. “Often, the mistake people make when they do superhero stories is to show strength, to know they will succeed, and then to add an element of fear. [But] Fear and vulnerability make it identifiable, and you can relate to it. It is very difficult to communicate with someone who is never afraid, and who knows that he will succeed [before] end of film. Bruce Willis filmed so much that he does not know the end of the movie.

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“I don’t even know if Bruce is aware of the impact he’s had, but those of us who collaborate with him consider it a privilege,” Kavanagh added.

Despite already being a fan, Kavanagh said it wasn’t surreal to see Willis appear on set for the first time. Describe how the actor was dedicated to the role and eager to work alongside his colleagues.

“When the acting bell rings, it doesn’t matter what anyone has done,” Kavanagh said. “We all want to tell a story equally and equally. And when the bell rings, it’s all for themselves. You’ll see in this movie how my character goes when he starts destroying things in prison. And I think that attitude is something that Bruce probably adopted during his career…everyone There they try to tell the best story they can make for a good definitive version.”

Aside from working with Willis, taking “corrective action” was easy for Kavanaugh, who already made his mark on the CW superhero series “The Flash.”


Michael Rucker (left) and Bruce Willis in ‘Corrective Actions’.
(© 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Daniel Delgado / FOX for TUBI.)

“I do superhero shows as my day job, and I run another show as my day job, so I’m familiar with the gritty comic book genre,” he said with a laugh. “But I also like the ‘Prison Break’ literary genre.” It was very clear from the first pages of [‘Corrective Measures’] It combines these two worlds. Right from the start, I immediately went, “Oh, that’s cool!” When I first read the script, I didn’t even know it was based on a graphic novel, at first. But I was instantly hooked. So the combination of all of these elements was really inconsequential for a man like me to join in.”

Willis’ family shared that a diagnosis of aphasia affected his cognitive abilities.

“As a result of this and with so much attention, Bruce is walking away from a career that meant so much to him,” a statement signed by Willis’ wife Emma Hemming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and his five children — Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn — said and published on his account on Instagram.

“We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to attract his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,” they said. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live your life,’ and together we plan to do it.”

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(LR) Rumer Willis, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Tallulah Bill Willis attend the next concert for Bruce Willis' Comedy Central grill at NeueHouse July 14, 2018, in Los Angeles.

(LR) Rumer Willis, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Tallulah Bill Willis attend the next concert for Bruce Willis’ Comedy Central grill at NeueHouse July 14, 2018, in Los Angeles.
(Phil Faraone/VMN18/Getty Images For Comedy Central)

There are many possible causes of aphasia. It often occurs after a stroke or head injury, but it 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 dealt primarily through speech therapy and learning of nonverbal means of communication.

The Willis family has not disclosed the cause of the aphasia. Representatives of the actor declined to comment.

News about Willis immediately spread on the Internet when fans reacted. His four-decade career grossed more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office.

Willis worked steadily and frequently. Willis is best known for films like “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “The Sixth Sense,” and in recent years he’s been making direct-to-video thrillers. In the past year, he’s starred in eight amazing films. Most came and went quietly, including titles like “Cosmic Sin,” “Out of Death,” and “Deadlock.”

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Bruce Willis and his wife, American model Emma Heming, circa 2019 in China.

Bruce Willis and his wife, American model Emma Heming, circa 2019 in China.
(VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Most recently, Willis starred in “Gasoline Alley” and “A Day to Die” which were released in early March. Willis has already shot at least six other films in 2022 and 2023, including “Die Like Lovers,” “Corrective Measures,” and “The Wrong Place.”

‘Corrective Actions’ is available to broadcast on TUBI. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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