HEAT VISION

When Alan Rickman Got Tricked for That 'Die Hard' Fall

The late actor would have turned 74 on Friday.
Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in 'Die Hard'   |   Photofest
The late actor would have turned 74 on Friday.

If Alan Rickman looked like he was legit scared during that fall from Nakatomi Plaza at the climax of Die Hard, it was because he was tricked by the stunt coordinator. The late, beloved actor, who would have turned 74 on Friday, played villain Hans Gruber in the 1988 classic that also starred Bruce Willis. 

When he meets his demise, Hans is dropped from one of the top floors of Nakatomi (actually the Fox building in Century City, California). It took a day of filming, but Rickman did the stunt himself. 

However, it turns out, he was tricked. 

Rickman was held with a rope by a team and was told that he would be released on the count of three to fall 40 feet onto a crash pad, Charlie Picerni, the film's stunt coordinator, explained on Netflix's The Movies That Made Us.

"But I told the stunt guys, let him go on one," Picerni added. 

The fear and shock seen on Hans' face was the real deal, which is what  Picerni wanted. 

Rickman would later say he didn't recall the countdown, but he remembered the reaction to him doing the stunt. 

"I look at the sight of some slightly incredulous producers when I said I would do it myself," Rickman explained to an audience once. "They were very careful to make it my very last shot on the film."  

Rickman died in 2016. 

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