In a new book, Die Hard 2: Die Harder director Renny Harlin says there was a line star Bruce Willis refused to say.
Just the fax, ma’am…
It’s a line from Die Hard 2: Die Harder that made audiences laugh, but according to director Renny Harlin, star Bruce Willis absolutely hated it and refused to say it. In his book “The Last Action Heroes,” writer Nick de Semlyan interviews Renny Harlin about the famously fraught production of the Die Hard sequel. In the book, Harlin says the conflict between him and Willis happened because the latter wanted to play the great detective John McClane in a more serious way than he had in the original Die Hard, 1988’s biggest action movie. “One-liners and jokey comments are bullshit: that’s not real life. In a real situation, with lives on the line, you can’t say that kind of thing.”
According to Harlin, a compromise was made where Willis would do however many takes he wanted in a serious way, but Harlin would then be allowed to film a lighter, more humorous version. Most of these funny takes wound up in the final cut. But Willis drew the line by saying “just the fax” during a bit where a flirty airport worker helps him send a fax of a dead bad guy’s fingerprints. “He said it’s cheesy, it’s stupid. I’m not going to say it.” Finally, producer Joel Silver got involved, and the line was shot as planned
Whatever the case, Die Hard 2: Die Harder wound up being a major financial hit, grossing $240 million worldwide, which is over $100 million more than the classic first instalment made. Ironically, the book states that when Die Hard 2 came out, Willis swore he was done with the character, saying, “Sure, Die Hard 3: He’s Dead. No, I think we’ve pretty much said everything about John McClane and terrorists.” Willis would go on to make Die Hard with a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard, and the now infamous A Good Day to Die Hard. Since being diagnosed with aphasia, which his family announced was an effect of frontotemporal dementia, Willis has been retired. Now is definitely time to look back at some of his classics, as well as some his movies that never really got their due, such as Antoine Fuqua’s Tears of the Sun (2003), 1991’s Hudson Hawk, The Last Boy Scout and, of course, his classic TV show Moonlighting, where he starred opposite Cybill Shepherd.
If you want more classic stories from the eighties and nineties golden age of action movies, I highly recommend checking out de Semlyan’s book. Buy it here!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/bruce-willis-hated-this-die-hard-2-line/