Posted: 08/18/2008


Rumer Has It – Willis Offspring Heading for Stardom

by Paul Fischer

Exclusive Interview

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In her first major film role, the bubbly comedy The House Bunny, Rumer Willis—daughter of Bruce and ex-wife Demi Moore—plays something of an outsider in a sorority that caters for the outsider until an ex-Playboy bunny shows up and teaches them how to evolve. For Willis, there was always a sense of inevitability that she would follow in her famous parents’ footsteps, she says in one of her first major press interviews. “I wanted to do it as soon as I got on a movie set, and I kind of grew up on them, so being able to do so myself has been really amazing,” the actress explains.  “I’ve felt really lucky to do the few things that I have. It is a very different experience, because there is a shift in your mindset when you go from being the accessory to being the one who’s actually in front of the camera, so it has been a different kind of ride or journey.” Asked to explain why she considered herself an “accessory,” Willis means “an accessory just in terms of having grown up around sets when I was younger, but I was never necessarily in the movies. But I would sit in the trailer and hang out, so it is a different level. Then, when you grow up at a certain level, and you see people who have already worked very hard in their careers and already gotten to a certain point—I’m kind of at the very beginning. I’ve had exposure to the media, but in terms of actual work I’ve done, it’s very little in terms of that, so it is just a different experience to actually be the one who is at the press junket. I’ve been to press junkets, but I’ve never actually been the one sitting behind the table, so it is a different experience.”

Willis admits that her high-powered parents “are very supportive. I don’t think I could ask for anything else, because you kind of just take the support and I think that is the only thing any parent can do for a kid.”

And she is genuinely excited being part of the comically ensemble cast in The House Bunny. “I’m fortunate and lucky, because I got to work with Anna Faris. I mean, c’mon. It was really cool. It’s been very different and I have to say, probably the biggest learning experience I’ve ever had, just to be able to do it and all the responsibility is on you. I felt very grateful to be a part of it.”

Willis says it was easy to identify with the outsider facet of her character. “I was a dork, a computer nerd, had braces and glasses. I wasn’t necessarily too active in getting in the social crowd, so I definitely understand entirely not fitting in, but I think everyone has their own version of feeling a bit out of place and one of the great things I think that we have the ability to do is show that it’s alright. You can have that awkward phase, so it’s not about whether you’re the popular girl or the nerdy one but just about feeling confident and comfortable with kind of where you fit and who you are and accessing that and making that your own.”

Willis has also been attacked by a core group of bloggers, and she remains philosophical on the subject. “Everybody has an opinion and we live in America, so you’re allowed to. But the thing about it is, the media is an interesting outlet, because it allows people to see who they think you are, an idea of you, but it might not be who you really are and as long as you are comfortable with who you know you really are and remain true to your friends and the people around you, that’s all that really matters.”

Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.

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