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Die Hard 4.0 - Timothy Olyphant interview

Timothy Olyphant in Die Hard 4.0

Interview by Rob Carnevale

TIMOTHY Olyphant talks about following in the footsteps of Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons by playing a Die Hard villain and his thoughts on the original movie…

Q. Did you feel under any pressure coming into one of the most successful franchises of all time?
Timothy Olyphant: I kept telling myself that if the movie sucked, it’s Len [Wiseman]‘s fault [laughs]. That took a lot of stress off my shoulders! It’s a weird thing, when I first got the call that said they were looking for the new villain for the next Die Hard my first response was: “Cool, they’re making another Die Hard!” And my second response was: “And I could be in it!” So I really was like a kid in a candy store. And then every now and then a buddy of mine from High School would email me and say: “I heard you’re going to be the villain in Die Hard? Don’t f*** it up!” So that’s when I thought that if it doesn’t work, it’s Len’s fault [laughs again].

Q. What was your initial reaction to the original Die Hard? Were you a fan?
Timothy Olyphant: I saw it when I was about 19. I was in a packed theatre and about 10 minutes in, a guy in seventh row stood up and said: “No action!” And he then turned and walked out. Had he waited just 10 or 15 more minutes more, he would have been treated to one of the greatest action movies ever made. We did that on the set all the time – waved to Len and called out: “No action!”

Q. What did you learn from working with Bruce Willis?
Timothy Olyphant: It was really quite a generous gift, from day one Bruce couldn’t have been more accessible. I turned up and expected to be really intimidated and nervous but took that out within minutes and he immediately made me feel at ease. Our relationship started with: “Well, what are you going to do? What are you thinking?” That made me feel so relaxed. Because I thought if he’s not nervous then I shouldn’t be, because this is his baby and he has so much riding on it. It seemed like I was going to be allowed to do my job. That was such a lesson – I thought that if I ever get to be in his position, that’s how I’d like to be.

Read our review of Die Hard 4.0