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Actress and stuntwoman Kelly Greyson is opening up about her time working with Bruce Williswho she champions for his authenticity and professionalism on and off film sets.
Greyson last filmed with Willis a little over a year ago for “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye,” the second installment of “Fortress.” Jesse Metcalfe and Chad Michael Murray also star in the action-packed flick.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Greyson said she was unaware of Willis’ aphasia diagnosis at the time she worked with him, but believes his retirement from acting should remind everyone of the incredible legacy he’s built.
“I have been privileged to work with him numerous times in the last couple years. He was a gift to be able to get to know him as a person and see how authentically kind he is in real-life. The narrative about him right now should be about the amazing career he’s had,” Greyson told Fox News Digital.
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Greyson, who performs her own stunts in the cyber-thriller, said she didn’t have any preconceived notions about Willis before she began working with him. Still, she was surprised by what she learned about the “Die Hard” actor.
“Thinking back, he was more down to earth and engaging and kind-hearted than I would have anticipated. A lot of times stardom gets to people’s heads. He definitely is super suave on-camera but just in real life he did embody those things . That’s a huge compliment to someone of that international notoriety for them to also just be a good human,” Greyson said.
Last month, Willis’ wife Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five daughters announced that the actor has been diagnosed with aphasia, provided that affects the ability to communicate. As a result, the family said Willis “is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
Greyson recalls that no matter the situation, Willis “was a trooper” in the times she’s worked with him.
“As far as being on set and interacting with people, yes, he would hang out and watch on the screen. He’d watch some of the actors doing their roles. He’d sit and talk with the director. I think he interacted well just on a personal level with people,” Greyson said, adding that at the time of filming “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye” there were still “challenging” new protocols in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Shortly after Willis’ diagnosis became public, filmmakers who worked with him in recent years claimed they recognized some of Willis’ cognitive issues, such as memory loss and confusion on film sets. Greyson shared that while she “heard people just kind of wondering some things,” it’s his talent that stood out to her.
The stuntwoman went on to note that it appears Willis is surrounded by a supportive, “beautiful” family.
Although Willis will not be taking on any more projects at this time, Greyson says she’s “grateful” for the pleasure of working with one of the greats.
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“The takeaway for me from watching him is to just be authentically you in the moment. Whenever you live those moments authentically, that’s what portrays on camera.”
In “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye,” viewers will see Greyson perform combat fights. The fitness enthusiast has plenty of experience in performing stunts on camera, including swordplay, cliff jumping, horseback riding and crashes.
“This movie was particularly fun because I have done hand-to-hand [stunts] but this was more like military style hand-to-hand. I had some pretty intense fight scenes. I always walk away with a little bleeding and bruised after every stunt and this was not an exception. I really enjoyed it,” she added.
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One scene in the upcoming movie will show Willis and Greyson together in a hospital.
“This one I think he was recovering from a previous fight. We had a scene in a hospital room so we were talking about what’s happening next. It was a very cool moment. In the other films there’s lots and lots of scenes as well. It’s always been a good time,” she said.
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Aside from acting, Greyson is committed to prioritizing health and fitness. She’s the guy who does squats in her seat while out to dinner, and often chooses cardio activity when answering incoming phone calls. She has also been busy forming the nonprofit organization my1Mpact, a global platform catered toward “encouraging people to recognize their ability to have an impact on the world in a way only they can,” she shared.
Her goal through the nonprofit is to highlight heroes “around the world.”
To Greyson, Willis has made an impact in his own right.
“I never heard of [his] diagnosis previously. But my memory of working with Bruce is how friendly he was and really, really talented at his role. He’s definitely a professional. He’s going out as a legend with a beautiful career behind him,” she said.
Willis had been working steadily and frequently. Renowned for films like “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense,” Willis has in recent years churned out straight-to-video thrillers. Last year, he starred in a staggering eight films. Most came and went quietly, including titles like “Cosmic Sin,” “Out of Death” and “Deadlock.”
Most recently, Willis starred in February’s “Gasoline Alley” and “A Day to Die,” released in early March. Willis has already shot at least six more films due out in 2022 and 2023, including “Die Like Lovers,” “Corrective Measures” and “The Wrong Place.”
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On Wednesday, the “Armageddon” star’s wife took to Instagram to share some new photos of the couple enjoying the outdoors.
“Mom & Dad in their favorite habitat,” Heming captioned the postfeaturing a carousel of photos of the married couple smiling.
In their statement on March 30, his family noted the “challenging time” they’re in.
“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.”
“Fortress: Sniper’s Eye” is set to hit select theaters, digital platforms and VOD on April 29.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.