”More than any other actor, Bruce has an amazing knack for making an asshole charming.” That’s director Turteltaub talking about his leading man. Sure, one hardly expects such language used to describe the star of a Disney flick. Then again, if anyone’s earned the right to be an asshole at the Mouse House, it’s Willis, who’s single-handedly saved the studio’s bacon two summers in a row with ”Armageddon” and ”The Sixth Sense.” And it sounds like he’ll have to summon all the lovable prickliness he can muster for ”The Kid,” in which he plays a 40 year old jerk who finds his softer side after coming face to face with himself at age 8 (Breslin).
If ”The Kid” sounds a tad syrupy in an ”It’s a Wonderful Life” way, that’s because Turteltaub also directed ”Phenomenon” and ”While You Were Sleeping.” ”I was actually referred to in Entertainment Weekly as ‘the master of white-bread weepies,”’ he laughs. ”Fortunately, it was early enough in my career that I was just happy to be the master of anything.”