How Die Hard Almost Made Bruce Willis Deaf

First of all I have to admit that I did not know Bruce Willis had lost 2/3 of his hearing in Die Hard. That’s one of those things that you don’t often hear about unless someone is really going all in trying to explain every little hidden thing about the movie. But, despite such character quirks it’s still interesting to know that he lost that much of his hearing in the first movie of the ill-fated franchise.

Does anyone else think that they should have stopped this movie after the original one and preserved the interest of the fans? Plus, every movie since the original Die Hard seems to be tainted now that you realize there’s a reason why Willis is craning his head all the time as though trying to hear the dialogue. I suppose having a gun, even a prop gun, go off near your ear isn’t all that great for your hearing.

He can still hear pretty well in one ear, but if you’ve ever had ear blockage or any other issue that affected your hearing you’ll know that the other ear doesn’t just up and compensate for the loss of hearing. In fact losing most of your hearing in one ear usually only makes things worse since you have to try twice as hard to hear anything that’s coming from the side that you have trouble hearing on. Your other ear doesn’t get stronger to make up for the lack of hearing in the damaged ear. Sorry if I repeated that, but that’s usually what happens once you start to lose your hearing, you have to hear things more than once so that you can fully grasp the concept.

Now on to the fact that Bruce Willis tends to cock his head so much. It makes perfect sense now doesn’t it? Believe it or not this eventually becomes habit when you’re attempting to hear something that’s happening on the nearly deaf side of your head. In order to hear enough of what’s going on you tend to have to crane your head or turn so that you’re facing a certain direction. This can often make it look as though you’re only giving a person half of your attention, which is normally quite rude, but is necessary when you simply can’t hear anything.

The really irritating part is that you’ll still sense stronger vibrations through your ear canal, but you won’t hear much of what’s going on. Having been through a few ear infections I can attest that the vibrations you feel, which normally translate into sound, have the unwanted effect of thumping into your skull if they’re cranked too high. What’s really annoying is that you might ear some sound on the affected side but it will sound more like you left the sound down as low as it could go while still being just barely audible.

Bruce Willis might seem like a cantankerous old coot that has to cock his head and look at you all mean-like, but at least you know now that there’s a reason.


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