Alan Rickman didn’t want to play the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Well, not at first anyway. The actor appeared at a BAFTA Life In Pictures event on Wednesday and according to THR, he was against being in an action film for his first gig in Hollywood.
“I read it, and I said, ‘What the hell is this? I’m not doing an action movie. Agents and people said: ‘Alan, you don’t understand, this doesn’t happen. You’ve only been in L.A. two days, and you’ve been asked to do this film.’ “
That really is unheard of, and soon Rickman agreed to take on the now iconic character. He also put his own spin on Gruber, including changing the man’s originally-scripted wardrobe which allowed for the film’s intriguing subplot between Hans Gruber and John McClane:
“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,” he said, admitting to leaving a note suggesting as much on producer Joel Silver’s table.
“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. So, you know, it just pays to occasionally use a little bit of theater training when you’re doing a movie.”
Die Hard earned more than $140 million at the box office, which sparked a five-film franchise. The original was revolutionary in a number of ways and may very well be one of the best action movies ever made. Rickman pointed out another interesting factoid involving the almost 3 decades-old film:
“Not to get a sledgehammer out to it, but every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent,” he said. “So, 28 years ago, that’s actually quite revolutionary and quietly so.”
Well played, Mr. Rickman. Well played.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)
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