Alan Rickman’s Horror to Die Hard Script – “What the hell is that?” | Movies | Entertainment
Die Hard, the world’s favorite Christmas movie, wouldn’t have been so successful without British star Rickman playing its villain. He didn’t start acting until he was 28 after spending years working at a graphic design company. He then commanded theater stages in the West End for more than a decade before directing his first feature film at 41: Die Hard. But when his agent gave him the script, he couldn’t imagine himself in it.
Rickman played legendary German terrorist Hans Gruber alongside Bruce Willis hero John McClane.
Long before agreeing to be in John McTiernan’s film, he read the script and was horrified by the scenes he read. He exclaimed, “What the hell is that? I’m not doing an action movie!”
Rickman said in 2015, “I didn’t know anything about LA. I didn’t know anything about the film industry…I had never done a movie before, but I was extremely cheap.” (via The Guardian)
Finally, the future actor of Harry Potter was conquered by the progressiveness of the casting of the film.
READ MORE: Die Hard: UK poll determines if Bruce Willis classic is a Christmas movie
Rickman revealed, “Every black character in this movie is positive and very smart. So 28 years ago, it was pretty groundbreaking. And quietly.” Once the Severus Snape actor joined Die Hard, he began to change the way film was made. In particular, he was keen to change a key detail about how Hans Gruber was portrayed in the film. Originally, the genius terrorist was dressed similarly to his employees – overalls and guns. Rickman had other plans.
Rickman said: “When I came back I was handed a new script. It showed that it pays to have a bit of theater training.
“I like to feel a little in danger. And the theater, of course, is deadly. [And] the good thing about starting late in this career is you’re like, ‘Well, what could be worse?'”
Rickman’s additions to the film earned it $141 million at the box office on a measly $25 million budget.
Die Hard has gone down in history as one of the most iconic and recognizable action films of all time.
The film sparked a long-running franchise that, at the time of writing, has had four sequels: Die Hard 2; Die Hard with a Vengeance; Live Free or Die Hard and A Good Day To Die Hard.
Rickman died on January 16, 2016 of terminal pancreatic cancer.
His last two films – Eye in the Sky and Alice Through the Looking Glass – were dedicated to the memory of the star.