Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Bizarre Thoughts On Bruce Willis’ Retirement

Asked about the retirement of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger says action stars "never really retire."

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

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It has been more than a year since Die Hard star Bruce Willis announced his retirement from the film industry. The actor, now 68 years old, revealed that he was diagnosed with Aphasia, which led to the decision to leave Hollywood behind. According to The Hollywood Reporter, when fellow action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked about Willis, he said that generally, action movie stars never retire.

“I understand that under his circumstances, health-wise, he had to retire, Schwarzenegger said. “But in general, you know, we never really retire. Action heroes, they reload.”

While this quote might sound vaguely critical of Bruce Willis’s choice to retire, Arnold Schwarzenegger had nothing but positive things to say about Willis, who had appeared in films for 42 years before his retirement. Schwarzenegger said that Willis was a huge star for years, and he will always be remembered as one.

During Willis’s early career, he was best known for his comedic roles, appearing in the 1985 comedy mystery TV show Moonlighting and the farcical 1978 romantic comedy Blind DateDie Hard almost immediately changed him into an iconic action hero, leading to his appearance in classics such as The Last Boy ScoutPulp Fiction12 Monkeys, and Unbreakable. In 2010, the 54-year-old Willis appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time in The Expendables.

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Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys (1995)

Towards the end of Willis’ career, he started appearing in low-budget direct-to-video films that had been derided as “Geezer teasers” — movies whose only draw is sporadic appearances from an aging celebrity. The films were widely derided, with the infamous Golden Raspberry Awards creating a special “Worst Performance by Bruce Willis” award in response. After Willis made his aphasia diagnosis public, The Golden Raspberries rescinded the award and apologized to the actor.

Like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger began his career with comedic roles, first appearing as Hercules in the comedic fantasy film Hercules in New York. He would then appear in the 1974 comedy TV Movie Happy Anniversary and Goodbye, and the Comedy Drama Stay Hungry. His starring role in Conan the Barbarian was his first major non-comedic role, quickly leading to roles in The TerminatorCommandoPredator, and The Running Man.

Arnold Schwarzenegger still regularly appears in films and TV shows even though the 75-year-old actor isn’t nearly as active as he had been during his heyday. Most recently, he appeared in the Netflix original series FUBAR, playing an ex-CIA operative who discovers that, unbeknownst to him, his daughter is an active CIA operative. He is also scheduled to appear in The Legend of Conan — a follow-up to the original Conan the Barbarian — and will play the president in the 2023 spoof action film Kung Fury 2.

Bruce Willis might be out of the limelight, but we did receive an update on the retired actor after his ex-wife Demi Moore released a video of his birthday party. In the video, Willis appears to be in good spirits as his wife, daughters, and other loved ones are seen singing him Happy Birthday.