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Bruce Willis on Living Free with a Fourth Die Hard

Published June 26, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox.
Live Free or Die Hard Live Free or Die Hard

We’ve been waiting a long time for Die Hard 4. When Bruce Willis finally relented and agreed to consider returning to John McClane, it still took a long time to get the right script. We would have settled for the one about him and Ben Affleck in the jungle, but Willis held out for the script that became Live Free or Die Hard.

Bruce Willis Gives Us His Take on Live Free or Die Hard

“It just seemed like the right time,” said Willis. “It was a good script and a bunch of different elements conspired to kind of bring it together. At a certain point, it's just a leap of faith. I just had to say, ‘Let's take a shot.’ I liked what Len [Wiseman] had to say about the film and I was pretty confident in the fact that if we got a good story that we could improve upon that which is what we ultimately did. But at the end of the day, when it's the 11th and a half hour, you just got to say, ‘Here we go.’ Look, it could've sucked. We could be sitting here trying to get you excited about it. The really rewarding thing is to know that we have a great film. When I first saw the first cut of this film, I was so impressed and relieved at the same time. It really is kind of counter programming to what's out there this summer. But the Ben Affleck thing, I don't know where that came from. I heard that story too.”

Self-critical about the other Die Hard sequels, Willis went back and revisited Die Harder and With a Vengeance taking notes. Particularly, he did not want to be self-referential in Live Free.

“I took a look at all of them. I think everybody did that was involved with it. For me, the first one was the only good one. The third was interesting and we were really lucky to have Jeremy Irons and Samuel Jackson in it. This film, I think, is pretty close to if not better than the first film. It’s really set in the 21st century and Len Wiseman really has a great visual eye and a great action sense and the stunts in this thing are a big ride. He’s kind of reinvented Die Hard and set it in 2007.”

Now in his early ‘50s, being the man of action isn’t as easy as it used to be. “Recovery time is a little longer. I call them kids but they’re not kids, they’re in their 30s but these are guys who were kids when the first Die Hard came out and they kind of grew up watching those stunts and they’ve taken it to a much bigger level. They’re doing things I’ve never seen anybody do. Obviously, safety and all, but jumping from building to building and doing crazy dangerous stuff. Wait until you see the film. It’s big.”

The action may evolve, but John McClane is still the same. “One of the things that a friend of ours said early on, a kid named Jason Smilovic who wrote Lucky Number Slevin came up with the phrase ‘the mythology of Die Hard.’ Part of the mythology of Die Hard is that John McClane loves his country, loves his family, that he’s not going to let anybody hurt anyone that can’t really defend themselves. I think given a choice, being able to not have to do what I do in this film or in any of the Die Hard films, I wouldn’t do it.”

Live Free or Die Hard opens to theatres on June 27th.

For the trailers, stills, early reviews, poster and more movie info, go to the Live Free or Die Hard Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox.

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