While the actor in question does look like Bruce Willis — boasting similar facial features and hair, and dressed in a white tank top akin to the one John McClane wears during his quest to defeat Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) — neither Michael Bay nor Willis nor anyone else close to the production has ever confirmed or denied that it is him. What we do know is that there are only four pure CG shots in “Pearl Harbor,” including two shots of the USS Arizona exploding.
Since CGI was used so sparingly, the actors were given flight training so they could actually handle the planes during production. The Dolittle Raid was filmed by having real pilots position the planes, at which point the actors took over and piloted the planes to get the shot. The explosions shown in the film were primarily created using visual effects, and “Pearl Harbor” earned a shoutout in “The Guinness Book of World Records” for having created the priciest film explosion sequence, one of the most expensive movie scenes ever filmed.
“Pearl Harbor” is an epic war film with an epic production budget of $140 million — but the project was so onerous that Bay quit several times over budgetary concerns. In the end, the movie brought in $449 million in worldwide profits, but considering the poor reviews and the film’s underwhelming box office performance as compared to expectations, it is still considered one of the bigger industry bombs.