SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 04: American actor Bruce Willis attends CocoBaba and Ushopal activity on November 4, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Moonlighting's Most Ambitious Episode Was A Total Departure For Bruce Willis
The ‘80s sitcom "Moonlighting" broke the fourth wall long before "She-Hulk" did it on screen, employed a cold open before it was standard, and often showed sets and production staff on camera. The detective agency dramedy series deviated from what viewers were used to fairly often, including an episode based on William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."
In the episode, entitled “Atomic Shakespeare,” Bruce Willis appears as Petruchio, a man who marries Katherina (Cybil Shepherd), and according to Scott Ryan’s book "Moonlighting: An Oral History," the role was a big departure for Willis. However, Will Mackenzie, who directed the episode, said, "Bruce took to that rhyming and iambic pentameter so easily."
Shakespeare's iambic pentameter can be daunting, but the cast nailed every line like pros — and Willis even has the line, "Didn't think I could pull it off, did ya?" in his opening scene. Ryan said, "Bruce Willis was not a superstar when they were filming 'Atomic Shakespeare.' In fact, he was two years out from 'Die Hard,' but it is all on display in that episode.”
Apparently, Willis also suffered from the flu when his Petrucio sang "Good Lovin'." People go to acting school for years and study Shakespeare for a lifetime to get it right, making Willis’ performance doubly impressive. For his portrayal of detective David Addison on “Moonlighting,” Willis also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.