Hitting theatres this week is A Good Day To Die Hard. The newest film in the Die Hard series has New York Detective John McClane traveling all the way to Russia to help his estranged son Jack, who has been arrested for attempted murder. But once John arrives, he discovers that Jack is actually a CIA agent who is working undercover to foil a terrorist plot that could have serious repercussions on the rest of the world.
The press conference for the film, held a few weeks ago, came at a busy time for both Willis and Courtney. Earlier in the week, they both attended a special presentation at Fox Studios in Century City where a 35 foot mural was unveiled at Stage 8. The mural depicts the classic scene from the original Die Hard where John McClane is crawling through an air duct, and it was done to celebrate that film’s 25th anniversary. Afterwards, the guests were treated to a screening of A Good Day To Die Hard and a party on the 21st floor of Fox Plaza, which was the setting of the Nakatomi building in Die Hard.
At the press conference, it was mostly about Bruce as we were all awed to be in his presence. This is an actor who has been in so many movies we all watched growing up, and to see him still kicking butt 25 years later was a great thrill for just about every journalist in attendance.
Together, Willis and Courtney discussed some of the stunts in the film, John McClanes’s signature line, what it means to Courtney to be part of such a big film and much more.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Bruce, you look so fit in this. What’s the difference for you doing these Die Hard movies now as opposed to when you did the first one 25 years ago and how many stunts were done by stuntmen for both you and Jai?
Bruce Willis: Well the difference between trying to be fit and not being fit really means the difference between life and death… No I just made that up (laughs). There is no life-and-death in Die Hard, there’s just life. We have really highly technical stunt personnel who keep us safe even though it looks like we have leapt out of the 110th floor of the Hotel Ukraine. We’re okay, Jai not so much. Apparently he’s still hearing ringing in one of his ears.
Jai Courtney: Yeah.
Bruce Willis: There’s not a tremendous difference (doing a Die Hard movie now or 25 years ago). It’s a very simple difference; I get up a little slower from the ground after I fell into the dumpster. It’s okay. I’m doing all right. I’m here today.
We Got This Covered: It’s been 6 years since Live Free Or Die Hard. What made you want to come back to play John McClane again, and did you ever think about bringing back Bonnie Bedelia to see if John and Holly could patch things up?
Bruce Willis: I always think about Bonnie Bedelia and having her come back, but those things are unfortunately out of my hands. It has to do with the story. We only do another Die Hard when they have another really complicated title that no one quite understands (laughs). We had just gotten to where we might understand Live Free Or Die Hard, and now we have A Good Day To Die Hard which, I have to be honest with you, I’m a little baffled still by it.
But it’s a good movie. They’re both good movies. You have to come up with a story, that’s the thing that triggers another film. This film was much more germane to the Die Hard franchise in that it has to do with family and family conflict, and that’s always been a high ticket number with Die Hard. In this case I was fighting with my son, Jai Courtney. It’s not in the film, but why my son Jack and I have such a conflicted relationship is because when he was 15 years old he set South Philadelphia on fire and you don’t hear that in the film. You don’t hear those things because I guess it was just a little too shocking.
We Got This Covered: Bruce, what do you like about John McClane, and what advice would you like to give to him?
Bruce Willis: I think that over the past 25 years there has been a certain amount of goodwill that has been visited on these films. People root for you. People want to see you because you know someone like me, somebody that thinks he’s too smart or thinks he has everything figured out when in truth he doesn’t really have anything figured out.
Now we have my son who thinks he knows everything and that he has everything figured out, but no one here and no one on earth really has everything figured out. It’s fun to watch people try to figure it out and try to get out of each other’s way. Along the way John Moore and his team make it so harrowing, that car chase and the stunts and all those things that we did. It’s the same effect of going to an amusement park. It’s like going on a roller coaster. You really know you’re not gonna fall off the roller coaster, but it sure seems like you’re gonna go flying out of the car. These films are like big entertainment roller coasters, that’s my goal with them.
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