That Time Bruce Willis Negotiated Fridays Off During The Fifth Element
In some lines of work, if you work harder Monday through Thursday, you get Fridays off. It's a hell of a perk, if you can get it, and it's one that Bruce Willis actually scored way back on the set of The Fifth Element. Though as fate would have it, some particular circumstances proposed by Willis and his handlers were to thank for such a scenario, as Besson recently recalled how the Die Hard star snagged such a schedule. Here's how it happened, according to the director:
With a three pre-call requirement on the part of Bruce Willis' team, it would have been crazy to even try to attempt such a protocol when shooting in Luc Besson's quick-paced work model. Such a delay between shots could have robbed The Fifth Element of the manic energy that propelled the film into cult classic fame in the decades since its release. So obviously, any good leader would take this time to compromise with their crew, for the greater good. Besson's compromise went a little something like this, according to his recent interview with Screen Rant:
As anyone who remember the fallout from Kevin Smith's Cop Out will tell you, Bruce Willis is the sort of person who you either get along with or you don't. In the case of Luc Besson, Willis definitely got along with him, as he was given a pretty sweet deal in exchange for being able to adhere to Besson's shooting schedule. In turn, The Fifth Element still stands as one of the actor's more memorable appearances, with a lot of competition still remaining to spare.
In an industry that's rife with stories surrounding "creative differences", a victory such as the one that ensured The Fifth Element's success is always welcome. When everyone is at their best, the work reflects it, and if that film isn't a prime example of peak Bruce Willis, as well as Luc Besson at his finest, then we don't know what is. Especially considering that these constructive negotiations lead to one of the most memorable instances of not-so-friendly negotiations on film.
The Fifth Element is available on UHD, Blu-ray and DVD, while Besson's latest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is currently available on Digital HD. Physical releases on UHD, Blu-ray and DVD for that movie will occur on November 21. But if you want to see a visual spectacle on the big screen, take a look at what's coming to theaters through the rest of the year with our 2017 release schedule.
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