Alan Rickman: The cruel trick played on the actor in his Die Hard death scene

Just too mean

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The Independent Culture

Alan Rickman fans are remembering his legacy of brilliant film roles after the sad news that he has died aged 69.

From Harry Potter and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to Sense and Sensibility, his memorable performances made him a hugely popular actor both in front of the camera and on stage. 

But one thing Rickman’s followers may not know is the real reason behind the look of utter shock on his face when he fall to his death in Die Hard.

Director John McTiernan asked Rickman to fall backwards onto an airbag from a height of 25 feet on the count of three. Sounds easy enough, until the stunt crew decided to drop him on “one” instead, to make his reaction more genuinely believable. So that explains why Hans Gruber’s expression is quite so priceless.

Rickman was reportedly unimpressed by the ‘surprise’ (as anyone would be) as he was concerned about the safety of the stunt anyway. Nobody messes with Gruber. 

McTiernan also had to cut away from Rickman’s face whenever he fired a gun because he could not stop himself from flinching.