While in Paris to sponsor the upcoming release of A Good Day to Die Hard, star Bruce Willis was offered with the highest culture award in France, the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, in an evening ceremony here. Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said the medal was to respect his payment to film over the past thirty years. “It is an honor, a real honor, to be here,” said Willis. “To get this very high honor for the commanders, I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Filippetti admired his famous Die Hard character as a “reluctant hero,” and cited his varied body of work including Moonrise Kingdom, Pulp Fiction and Unbreakable. “He knows to sometimes leave his ‘tough guy’ costume and return to work with amazing filmmakers,” she said about his work with directors Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and M. Night Shayamalan. Willis has also been in the news here for his support of the French vodka company Belvedere’s financial restructuring. As the face of the company’s Sobieski label, he holds 3 percent of the company and would see his interest reduced in the deal, but told newspaper Le Figaro that he supports the plan to protect the 3,650 jobs that would be in jeopardy. Shareholders vote Feb. 12 , though Willis said Monday he does not plan on attending the meeting in person. “I always feel at home when I’m in Paris and when I’m in France. I feel very comfortable here and always look forward to coming back,” added Willis.