There are plenty of reasons to check out “Red” next weekend, from its exciting ensemble cast to director Robert Schwentke’s frenetic pacing. But perhaps the most exhilarating moment in the film comes in the form of a brutal knockout drag-out fist fight between leading man Bruce Willis and an opposing CIA operative played by Karl Urban.
“We had a fight scene that was probably the most gritty, arduous, difficult, intense two weeks of my life,” Urban told MTV News of the fight sequence. “We gave each other a really good crack, we really did. It was all done within the bounds of safety, but I felt very grateful to be working with him. The most fun I had was throwing Bruce around an office, smashing stuff up.”
“We were in a room full of guys that all had the same like mindset,” added Willis. “We all wanted it to look brutal and no one really came in on those nights when we were working and said, ’Now look, this is too brutal.’ They did cut down a couple of things that were just too much, too brutal, but we were all on the same page. It’s like we were playing sports again. We represented the graphic part of the graphic novel.”
As graphic as the scene gets, Willis said that his work on “Red” and other action films doesn’t even hold a candle to one of the men he met during his research for the comic book adaptation.
“We had the opportunity to actually talk to a guy who worked in the CIA and was alive and worked during the time that you were allowed to kill people — a license to kill,” he said. “That guy is still alive and we got to talk to him. He told us some things. Shocking, shocking [things].”
Despite the fact that he’s killed many people on the big screen in his career, Willis doesn’t think he could ever pull the trigger as a full-time assassin in real life.
“It seldom comes to that, especially in any job where life-taking is part of your job description,” he said. “[But] we both play guys who aim guns at other people and pull the trigger.”
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