Saturday 1 October 2016

'What the hell is this?' - Alan Rickman reveals he almost turned down breakthrough roll in Die Hard

Published 16/04/2015 | 14:45

Alan Rickman has revealed he initially turned his nose up at the villain role in Die Hard, which proved to be his breakthrough in Hollywood.

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He was offered the role, his first in film two days after he arrived in LA in 1987 when he was 41 years old.

Speaking at a Bafta celebration of his work, he said, “I didn’t know anything about LA. I didn’t know anything about the film business … I’d never made a film before, but I was extremely cheap."

Once he read the script, he thought,  “What the hell is this? I’m not doing an action movie.”

However, once he reviewed it again he decided it actually had something to say, as well as boasting a very funny script.

“Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent,” he said. “So, 28 years ago, that’s quite revolutionary, and quietly so.”

Despite never having acted in a film before he wasn't shy about sharing his opinions with director Joel Silver.

He said he wanted his character Hans Gruber to wear a suit rather than full terrorist regalia and left a note on Joel's table with his suggestions.

“I got Joel saying, ‘Get the hell out of here, you’ll wear what you’re told.’ But when I came back, I was handed a new script. It showed that it pays to have a little bit of theatre training.” said Rickman.

Rickman is currently on the press tour for his most recent film, A Little Chaos, which he both directs and stars in opposite Kate Winslet.

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