Tidbits: Die Hard

Looking forward to watching the 30th Anniversary TCM Big Screen Classics screening of Die Hard (1988) later this week. Seeking out tidbits from IMDB, I found the casting information intriguing.

  1. Actors considered for the role of John McClain included Don Johnson, Richard Dean Anderson, John Travolta, and Michael Madsen. Sam Neill  and Robert DeNiro turned it down. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Bruce Willis in this role that is iconic for him and one he lays claim to as his favorite film role.
  2. Alan Rickman nearly passed up the role of Hans Gruber, which ended up being
    Alan Rickman, Gérard Bonn, Hans Buhringer, Lorenzo Caccialanza, Bruno Doyon, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Alexander Godunov, Dennis Hayden, Al Leong, Joey Plewa, Gary Roberts, Wilhelm von Homburg, and Andreas Wisniewski in Die Hard (1988)

    his first film role. He had only arrived in Hollywood two days earlier and was appalled by the idea of his first role being the villain in an action film. To a degree, Rickman was right to be concerned considering his performance as Hans Gruber was so hailed that the actor had to struggle being typecast as a player of villains for much of his career. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Hans Gruber. Just like I can’t imagine anyone else playing Professor Severus Snape. Rickman had a gift for playing characters with a controlled exterior adding to the mystery of their intent.

  3. Only a couple of the actors who played the German terrorists were actually German and only a couple more could speak broken German. The actors were cast for their menacing appearances rather than their nationality. 9 of the 12 were over 6 feet tall. Convincing casting all the same. Alexander Gudonov makes an excellent baddie as Karl.

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