The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith recently sat down with Willis to talk about his latest movie, his unique relationship with David Letterman, and if you can believe it, his upcoming 50th birthday.
In "Hostage," Willis plays Jeff Talley, a former LAPD hostage negotiator who retreats to the peace and quiet of a small town police force after a hostage negotiation goes terribly wrong.
His now quiet existence ends abruptly when three teenagers in his town take a family hostage, placing Talley in exactly the kind of situation he never wanted to face again. And in a bizarre turn of events, Talley must negotiate the standoff, as an unknown crime syndicate holds his own wife and daughter captive.
"I don't think I could've done a hostage 18 years ago," Willis says. "I think that having kids, having three daughters, got me to a much higher point of departure emotionally than had I worked with an actress that I didn't know."
The character he portrays is lonely.
"He's kind of hiding from himself," Willis explains. "Hiding from his past, and what he considers to be his failed past. And we have really, really smart bad guys in this film."
As the star and producer of "Hostage," Willis didn't have to go too far to find a 16-year-old actress to play his daughter. The role went to Rumer, his own daughter.
How can Rumer Willis be that old, already?
"I know," Willis says. "Can you believe it? It's like that. It's like that. It's unbelievable. Rumer had a little kind of walk through in the second 'Die Hard.' She was an infant. And 16 years went by in a click, and it's just amazing to me how fast time goes by."
As for the goofy visit he had on "The Late Show with David Letterman," dressed in orange, Willis says, "It was a tour de force. I think that could be the funniest 'Letterman' I've ever done, and I've done that show over 20 times. And I had such a hard time keeping a straight face. It was just unbelievable, unbelievable. I mean truly nuts. Just bananas."
"Well we kind of do it together," Willis says. "Those guys come up with ideas and it happened to tie in with the whole "" in the Park and it was just good timing."
And speaking of time, Willis is turning 50.
He says, "People told me the same thing when I turned 40; they said: 'Oh well, your life's gonna change now when you're 40.' Fifty feels - I'm 25 in my heart. I'm surprised that I'm 50; I'm surprised that the clock has turned around this many times. But I still feel like a kid."
Willis has another movie coming out next month: the eagerly anticipated "Sin City," which is based on a series of graphic novels, and was shot almost entirely on a blue screen.