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Behind the Scenes of: Die Hard (1988)

Behind the scenes of: Die Hard (1988)

Alan Rickman hangs around moments before shooting his character, Hans Gruber’s death scene.

I’ve said many times on here that Hans Gruber is my favourite movie villain of all time! Any bad guy that can get you to love them and hate them at the same time is one that’s sure to go down in movie history, and Hans Gruber does just that!

It’s always hard to imagine another actor playing a character we’ve come to love and Gruber is no exception. In fact several other actors passed on the role before Rickman was eventually cast, including Sam Neill and Richard Gere.

Bruce Willis looking frustrated as director, John McTiernan shows Rickman how to point a gun convincingly.

Unbelievably, Die Hard was Alan Rickman’s first feature film. Up until that point he’d only appeared on stage and on British TV.

When the chance came up to play the German “terrorist”, he’d only very recently arrived in Hollywood and didn’t like the idea of his first role being the villain in an action movie. His agent fortunately talked him round telling him what a huge and rare opportunity it was.

Thank God for that!

Bruce enjoys a cigar while waiting for the crew to set up the next shot in the air duct scene.

Rickman offered to do the “fall scene” at the end of the movie himself. It’s often reported that he was told he’d be dropped on the count of three, but was then dropped on the count of two in order to get a genuine reaction from him.

Talking to members of the Hudson Union Society in 2009, Alan said he doesn’t remember that being the case, but that he was dropped from a height of around 40 feet. He said the producers “were very careful to make it [his] very last shot of the film.”

Luckily there were plenty of soft cushions for him to land on.

According to The Independent, Rickman said he excelled so much at playing a bad guy that people often “spat in his face.” Wow!

Die Hard is one of the (if not THE) best action films ever made. Contrary to false information it is NOT a Christmas movie…


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