There are interviews you can control. And there are interviews with Bruce Willis talking almost exclusively about shooting bees. CBR News’ conversation with Willis and “RED 2” co-star Mary-Louise Parker is the second kind of interview.â€¨
For context: I had less than three minutes to speak with the paired-up Willis and Parker at Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate’s “RED 2” junket in New York City last week. There were several items on the agenda: Speaking with them about the evolution of Frank Moses and Sarah Ross’ relationship in the film, learning more about Parker’s stunt-work, getting a clue or two about where they want to take the “RED” franchise for a third installment.
But the artists commonly known as John McClane and Nancy Botwin were more interested in talking about the time Willis shot a bee on the “RED 2” set — and once I knew that was a real thing that happened, so was I.
Read on for Willis and Parker’s insight into their “RED” relationship, their hopes for a space-bound sequel, and — that’s right — the time Bruce Willis shot a bee.
CBR News: Can you talk about the relationship between Frank and Sarah in this movie? Clearly they’ve grown quite a bit since the first “RED.”
Mary Louise Parker: Well, there’s been a devolution through Costco. That pretty much says it all. That speaks for everything, right? You show us in Costco, you don’t have to say anything.
Bruce Willis: I like Costco. Her? Not so much. Our relationship is going through some changes. She wants to be in the band. John Malkovich gives her a weapon, and it takes off from there. But she looks good with a gun.
Did you enjoy diving more into the action aspects of the film this time around?
Parker: I’m not a huge fan of weapons, so when they say cut, generally, I’m ready to hand it back. But it’s fun to play within the dynamic of the character. [To Bruce] Didn’t you shoot a bee or something? Remember that day? You shot it, didn’t you?
You — shot a bee?
Willis: I did. [Pauses, sighs] I shot a bee.
Parker: I thought I imagined it. I just started telling the story and I thought, ‘That couldn’t have actually happened.’ But it did.
Uh, what happened there?
Willis: Well, there was a big bee —
Parker: And it was about to land on me —
Willis: It was about to land on you —
Parker: So he shot it! That’s a level of masculinity you should not even strive for. [Points to Willis] It only happens here.
Willis: I didn’t want her to get stung!
Parker: So he shot it! [Laughs] It was kind of hot.
Willis: It was a little overkill. I think the bees will always look at me in a different way.
OK, past the bees — “RED 2” ups its game by taking the story across the globe: Paris, London, Moscow. If you get the chance to do “RED 3,” where would you want to take the story?
Willis: We’re talking about that. I don’t think I should be a part of the conversation. I think [Parker] should be the boss.
Parker: Wouldn’t you like to go somewhere not so far? Maybe somewhere warm?
Russia was cold?
Willis: Well, it was cooler. It was cooler. We went to the Kremlin scene, through that little tunnel, right behind that store — was it a Dunkin’ Donuts?
Parker: It was some kind of pizza —
It was Papa John’s!
Both: Papa John’s!
Willis: Yeah, that was a cool day. But I’m fine with weather. We can go anywhere. [Pauses] The moon. “RED 5: The Moon.”
Parker: The moon! Space! Or Disneyland.
Willis: The world’s happiest place.
“RED 2” opens in theaters on July 19, 2013. Stay tuned for CBR News’ interviews with the film’s co-stars Helen Mirren and Byung-hun Lee.