Bruce Willis in one of his great action packed films.
GUNS, terrorism, murder … they’re not things you traditionally associate with a Christmas movie, but then again, Die Hard isn’t a traditional Christmas movie.
The 1988 action flick is 131 minutes of explosive awesomeness which transformed Bruce Willis from a lowly TV actor to an international film star and made the phrase “Yippee ki-yay motherf***er” one of the most quotable lines in movie history.
But before you settle down in front of the Christmas tree tonight to re-watch this killer classic, check out these surprising facts about the movie:
MACGYVER COULD HAVE BEEN MCCLANE
Bruce Willis may have said yes to the role, but he wasn’t the first one offered the part. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds and Harrison Ford all passed on playing John McClane. According to Uproxx, even MacGyver himself, Richard Dean Anderson wasn’t keen, which is a shame, because it would have been great to see him beat the baddies with nothing more than a lighter and a paperclip.
RICKMAN’S SUGGESTIVE NOTE
Alan Rickman’s character, Hans Gruber, was meant to be wearing terrorist attire throughout the film but that didn’t sit well with the actor.
“I was just thinking: If I was wearing a suit and not all of this terrorist gear, then maybe there could be a scene where I put on an American accent, and he thinks I’m one of the hostages,” Rickman said.
He left a note for the producer, Joel Silver, and was surprised by his response.
“Then I went back to England, and I kind of got the Joel Silver: ‘Get the hell out of here, you’ll wear what you’re told,’ and I said, ‘OK, fine.’ And then I came back and they handed me the new script [in which it said he’d be wearing a suit]. So, you know, it just pays to occasionally use a little bit of theatre training when you’re doing a movie.”
BRUCE WILLIS’ HEARING WAS INJURED
The director, John McTiernan wanted the gunshot effects to be as realistic as possible. Remember the scene where McClane is hiding under a desk and he shoots one of the terrorists? The bang was so loud, and in such a confined space, that it actually caused permanent damage to Bruce Willis’ hearing.
THE TERRORISTS DON’T SPEAK GERMAN
In fact, the gun-toting actors (who are meant to be German) are actually just speaking gibberish throughout the film. When the movie was released in Germany, the movie was dubbed to explain that the terrorists were actually from ‘Europe.’ Wonder if they fell for it …
ALAN RICKMAN WAS SCARED OF GUNFIRE
The actor had only done stage work before signing on to play Hans Gruber and he wasn’t used to the loud sound effects used on a film set. Every time he fired a gun he recoiled in shock, which wasn’t ideal for a character that’s meant to be an intimidating career terrorist. The director had to edit around this problem, so that’s why you rarely see Rickman’s face when he pulls a trigger.
DIE HARD HAD TO BE FILMED AT NIGHT
Before Die Hard, Willis was just a TV actor appearing alongside Cybill Shepherd in a show called Moonlighting. He was still under contract for the sitcom when he was filming Die Hard, so he had to fulfil his TV duties during the day and could only film the action flick at night.
THAT FALLING SCENE WAS REAL
How did Alan Rickman manage to convey such terror and shock as Hans Gruber fell to his death? Because it wasn’t an act. Rickman volunteered to be dropped from 12 metres for the scene, and there’s a rumour that the producers dropped him on the count of two instead of three to get a more genuine reaction. Wisely, this was the last scene filmed, which meant they didn’t have to try to work with a cranky Rickman after the filming was finished.
FYI — Die Hard 2 is on Channel 10 tonight at 8.30pm
For all other news on the health