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Yippee-ki-yay! France gives Bruce Willis cultural award

Nervous star declares ‘Vive la France’ after becoming officer in Order of Arts and Letters
/ Source: The Associated Press

France has honored Bruce Willis, making him an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the country's top awards for cultural achievement.

"France pays homage to an actor who represents the force of American cinema and the power of emotions that he invites us to share on screens throughout the world," Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said Wednesday as he presented the award to Willis.

Willis, 50, thanked both France and the minister for what he called a "great, great honor."

The actor, who does not speak French, read from a script during his brief speech but still managed to make some grammatical slip-ups.

"I'm nervous. Bonjour Paris," Willis said. "I am extremely touched by this medal. ... We all belong to the same artistic community."

He concluded by saying, "Vive la France!"

The award is conferred on those who have particularly distinguished themselves in an artistic or literary field.

Willis was in Paris to promote his new movie, "Hostage," directed by France's Florent Emilio Siri.