Wild Animal Causes Crooks Embarrassing Moment In Bruce Willis’ Best Sci-Fi Movie

During production of 12 Monkeys, two burglars were scared half to death by a tiger on the set - so bad that one of them urinated in his pants.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

bruce willis
Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys (1995)

Genre fans mostly remember Bruce Willis from major films such as Die Hard or The Fifth Element, but his best sci-fi movie was definitely 12 Monkeys. That film gave us a prescient tale of the dangers of a virus running amok, as well as an Oscar-nominated performance from Brad Pitt. As reported by Inverse, the film also caused a young criminal to pee his pants when he and an accomplice tried to break into a trailer and had a run-in with Sasha, a Siberian tiger used in the climax of the movie.

Stars like Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt weren’t in any danger from Sasha because, during the production of 12 Monkeys, she was being kept inside a trailer within a sturdy armory with very high walls. However, the opportunistic thieves had no way of knowing that the animal was in there, and they likely thought it would be easy to steal a few valuable items from a Hollywood production. But they only got as far as stealing a radio from the truck attached to the trailer when they laid eyes on Sasha.

That’s because there was an open window between the cab of the truck and the trailer, and Sasha took the opportunity to stick her paw through there and growl at the youths. This proved too much for them, and the would-be thieves were still there when security arrived. The security agents were there to protect Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and the rest of the 12 Monkeys cast and crew, and the last thing they expected to find was urine-soaked thieves.

Not expecting to find a scary animal straight out of a Stephen King story, the criminals freaked out. When security found them, one of the thieves was uncontrollably weeping, and the other had urinated all over himself. Nobody from Bruce Willis to Sasha the Tiger actually got hurt, but why was a giant animal part of 12 Monkeys to begin with?

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A bear roars after the animals are set loose from the zoo in 12 Monkeys (1995)

If you’ve never seen the film, Bruce Willis plays a character in 12 Monkeys who is sent back in time to discover the origins of a virus that, in the future, wipes out most of humanity. For a while, he thinks that the virus is released by Brad Pitt’s character because he leads a revolutionary group that goes by the name “The Army of the 12 Monkeys.” We find out towards the end of the movie that this group is simply responsible for releasing animals into the streets of Philadelphia, and the real bad guy that cleanly escapes is Dr. Peters, a kind of rogue scientist.

If you’re in the mood to watch a Bruce Willis movie, then you can’t really go wrong with 12 Monkeys. It delivers the kind of spooks and shocks of science fiction that you just can’t get much of from franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars anymore. Plus, most franchises can’t say that they caused a gang member to pee himself in fear of a giant Siberian tiger, so be sure to raise a glass to Sasha once you see her on screen.