Bruce Willis Credits The Cub Scouts With Kicking Off His Acting Career

There was an era of prime Bruce Willis where he was one of the most believable everyman tough guys in Hollywood. I mean, of course, he was in "Die Hard," the gold standard of movies about regular guys kicking ass. It makes sense that a man with his mix of likability and coolness spent his whole career running around and shooting stuff in action movies. He was such a commodity that he would be the whole reason certain movies got made.

But unlike some actors of comparable burliness, Willis wasn't just some handsome guy a Hollywood executive plucked from his blue-collar job. Willis was an actor since he was a child, when he first tried his hand at the craft during his time in the Cub Scouts, according to a 2013 GQ interview. That's right, before he starred in "The Last Boy Scout," Willis did a bit of scouting of his own.

In the interview, Willis spoke about his first time performing on stage at a Cub Scout show, and how, even at such a young age, he knew he'd gotten the bug.

"I did little skits you would probably find in the Cub Scout handbook. Little tricks. Like a vaudeville gag where you pretend to show the audience that you're mixing up something, and then at the last minute it's like you're going to throw it on the audience, but it's just the oatmeal, not the oatmeal and the paint and all that. It got a big laugh, and I thought, 'This is it.'"

A new passion

While most scouts learn the basics of tying knots or how to become a more effective tool of capitalism by selling delicious cookies, Bruce Willis discovered his lifelong passion for acting. It wasn't just something he loved to do, but something that raised young Brucie's confidence as well. After suffering from a stutter for most of his childhood, acting in high school helped Willis begin to overcome his speech impediment, which he spoke about in the GQ interview.

"The Cub Scout years, I had a terrible stutter. But then I did some theater somewhere, probably in high school. And when I memorized words, I didn't stutter, which was just miraculous. That was the beginning of the gradual dispelling of my stutter. I thought I was handicapped. I couldn't talk at all. I still stutter around some people now."

It's a wonderful story, to hear about Willis overcoming his insecurities and discovering his artistic passion. Going on to become a huge movie star isn't too bad, either. Even with the sad recent news of Willis' retirement from acting due to his aphasia diagnosis, his career is one anyone can look at with admiration and even a touch of envy. So enroll your kid in the scouts. They might just become the star of the 2038 "Die Hard" reboot.