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James McAvoy Expresses Sadness Over Bruce Willis' Aphasia Diagnosis

It is always a sad occurrence when a co-worker and friend comes down with an illness that impacts their ability to work. James McAvoy, star of such movies as "X-Men: First Class," "Wanted," and "The Last King of Scotland," is quite a versatile actor. McAvoy's range is probably best highlighted in 2016's "Split," where he plays an individual suffering from dissociative identity disorder, and some of his personalities are helpful and shy, while others are violent, aggressive, and absolutely obsessed. In other words, McAvoy would shift his mannerisms, voice, and behavior at a moment's notice.

Surprisingly, "Split" is actually a sequel to 2000's "Unbreakable," though this wasn't revealed until the final moments of the movie. These two movies are connected and are about what the world might look like with real-life heroes and villains. A third film, 2019's "Glass," brought together McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson together for an ultimate battle between the villainous mastermind Mr. Glass (Jackson) and the personality known as The Beast (McAvoy) against David Dunn (Willis), a supposedly invincible hero with a weakness for water. During an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in 2018, director of the "Unbreakable" trilogy M. Night Shyamalan spoke about how he called Willis to ask him to appear at the end of "Split" and said that Willis offered to do it for free, adding that Willis is an exceptionally sweet and honorable individual. These qualities of Willis have also earned the favor of McAvoy, who has recently spoken about his costar and friend's medical diagnosis.

James McAvoy feels bad that Willis had to retire and wishes his family well

Unfortunately, in March 2022, it was announced that Willis had been diagnosed with aphasia. According to Britannica, aphasia is a condition often caused by brain trauma, strokes, infection, or injury. It results in an individual being able to understand language and speech but sometimes having trouble articulating and expressing their own thoughts. This is the reason why Willis has decided to retire from acting because this medical condition makes it exceptionally hard to be an actor.

Speaking with GQ, James McAvoy was asked a series of questions about his body of work, and of course, the subject of "Split" and "Glass" came up. McAvoy then brought up his costar Willis and said, "Getting to work with Bruce, who I had been watching since I was a really little kid in 'Moonlighting,' that was amazing. What a nice guy. What a good guy. I'm really sad to hear that he's had to retire, and I hope he's well and healthy and hope his family are all good." Similarly to M. Night Shyamalan's earlier sentiment, it seems like McAvoy shares the same opinion of Willis in the sense that the actor is a great person who is fantastic to work with. Although McAvoy is disheartened to know of Willis' aphasia diagnosis, McAvoy still wants Willis and his family to live full and happy lives.