At his monthly community meeting last night, 3rd District City Councilman Chris Hilbert disclosed to constituents his nearly two decades-long mancrush on actor and producer Bruce Willis. The revelation marked the first time since his election in November 2004 that the city official publicly addressed the long-held rumors of his ambition to become the Hollywood star.
“The bald head and facial hair are just one part of it,” Hilbert told a crowd of nearly 200 people assembled at a North Side community center, his wife at his side to reaffirm his heterosexuality. “My love of Bruce runs much, much deeper than physical appearance,” Hilbert added, noting he believes he could successfully maneuver a car through large crowds of people or heavy traffic at high speeds, as Willis did multiple times in Die Hard With a Vengeance.
Hilbert said his desire to “be, not be with” Bruce Willis stemmed from the popular 1988 action film Die Hard, which the senior Virginia Housing Development Authority official said changed his life “dramatically, and for the better.”
Immediately after viewing, the then 26-year-old began honing his marksmanship skills with pistols and semi-automatic weapons, jumping through elevator shafts without rope, and crafting clever one-liners to break out at appropriate moments in life – just as the Willis character, John McClane, does in all four Die Hard films.
“I also want to be clear when I say that ‘I want to be Bruce Willis,’ that I mean ‘I want to be Bruce Willis the action star,’ not ‘I want to be Bruce Willis the dramatic actor’ or ‘I want to be Bruce Willis the comedic star,’ or ‘I want to be Bruce Willis the guy who owns Planet Hollywoods,'” Hilbert said, explaining that he was not a fan of Willis movies such as Look Who’s Talking or Death Becomes Her. “Don’t get me wrong, The Whole Nine Yards was hilarious, and The Sixth Sense was cool, but neither one was The Last Boy Scout.”
“Or a Die Hard,” he quickly added.
Additional Bruce Willisisms, Hilbert said, include initiatives in City Council that have added more than 100 new police officers in Richmond, resulting in a 30 percent drop in violent crime in the 3rd Distrct in 2008. “Which, I mean, is somewhat, pretty much, the plot in all the Die Hards,” he said.
Hilbert noted that his Bruce Willis likenesses end strictly at action films, and he would “find it weird” to have someone he was once romantically involved with married to a person nearly 20 years his junior.
The councilman then demonstrated his “Bruce Willabilities” by grabbing an elderly woman and jumping out of the community center’s second story window, then safely landing, on his back, while fully shielding the woman, on top of a parked car.