‘Die Hard’ Star Didn’t Want to Get Typecast

by Michael Freeman

Getting typecast is something many actors have expressed dissatisfaction with. Many go to great efforts to ensure it doesn’t happen to them. One great example is a certain Die Hard star who almost passed up one of his most iconic roles because of his fear of being typecast.

Alan Rickman was a legendary actor and his performance in Die Hard was incredible. Nonetheless, after that and his role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he was afraid he’d forever be playing a villain. This led to him being incredibly hesitant to accept the role of Snape in the Harry Potter series. Luckily, the first film’s director, Christ Columbus, convinced him to do it and divulged the details to AV Club.

“I remember [producer] David Heyman and myself had to do the British actor’s dinner tour for quite some time,” Columbus disclosed. “We went out to dinner with Richard Harris to convince him, and Maggie Smith to convince her. Alan Rickman was the same, and he was reluctant because he didn’t want to be typecast as a villain, particularly after Die Hard, and I guess Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

So, what finally convinced Alan Rickman? As it turns out, J.K. Rowling played a large role. “We convinced him to do it, and then J.K. Rowling took him out to dinner and told him something about what was going to happen to Snape throughout the series and in the seventh book.”

This turned out to be an excellent move. Not only did Rickman embrace the part, but his knowledge about the seventh book added something extra to his role as Snape. Adding “little idiosyncrasies” to his Snape portrayal, once Columbus read the seventh book, he praised Rickman, calling him “brilliant.”

‘Die Hard’s’ Writer Says it is a Christmas Movie

Along the subject of Die Hard, it’s difficult to talk about the movie without getting into the age-old debate of whether it’s a Christmas movie or not. Though both sides have valid points, the film’s writer also weighed in, saying it is.

Steven E de Souza spoke on the Script Apart podcast about Die Hard’s validity as a Christmas movie. Talking about the movie’s death count disqualifying it from being a Christmas movie, he has an interesting retort.

“Some people say to me Die Hard can’t be a Christmas movie because you kill people… and I say was Ellis killed? Yes,” Souza began. “We don’t see Ellis killed. He’s off-camera, does that still count? Do off-camera deaths count? Yes,” he continues. “Well, if we’re counting Ellis… now that you, my skeptic about Die Hard being a Christmas movie, admit that off-camera deaths count. The body count in White Christmas is 26,128 people in the Battle of the Bulge, the opening scene in the movie.”

Sounds like definitive proof to me and it’s certainly not because I’m biased or in the camp of it being a Christmas movie.