In theaters this month, Bruce Willis reprises his iconic role as police detective John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, set against the backdrop of deadly corruption and political vendetta in Russia. McClane arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack, (Jai Courtney), and is stunned to discover he’s working undercover to protect a government whistleblower, Komarov. With their own necks on the line, the McClanes are forced to overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the most desolate place on Earth – Chernobyl.
McClane is, as he self-effacingly describes, the “007 of Plainfield, New Jersey.”
But it’s a long way from Plainfield to Moscow, and John and his son Jack are about to have a family reunion they will never forget. Before we go see John McClane blow s**t up in cinemas, let’s get reacquainted with the man who’s always in the wrong place at the wrong time and we’ll get to know his son Jack too.
Meet Bruce Willis aka The Dad we wish we all had
Bruce Willis (John McClane) has demonstrated incredible versatility in a career that has included such diverse characterizations as the prizefighter in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994 Palme D’Or winner at Cannes), the philandering contractor in Robert Benton’s Nobody’s Fool, the heroic time traveler in Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison’s In Country, the compassionate child psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan’s Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense (for which he won the People’s Choice Award) and his signature role, Detective John McClane, in the Die Hard films.
Willis next won international stardom and several acting awards, including Emmy and Golden Globe honors, for his starring role as private eye David Addison in the hit TV series Moonlighting, winning the role over 3,000 other contenders. At the same time, he made his motion picture debut opposite Kim Basinger in Blake Edwards’ romantic comedy Blind Date.
How Die Hard started for Willis
In 1988, he originated the role of John McClane in the blockbuster film, Die Hard, one of the highest-grossing releases of the year. He later reprised the character in four sequels: Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995’s global box-office champ), Live Free, Die Hard (one of the box-office hits of summer 2007), and now A Good Day to Die Hard.
Did you know?
Bruce Willis is an accomplished musician, he recorded the 1986 Motown album The Return of Bruno, which went platinum and contained the No. 5 Billboard hit “Respect Yourself.” Three years later, he recorded a second album If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. In 2002 he launched a U.S. club tour with his musical group, Bruce Willis and the Blues Band and he traveled to Iraq to play for U.S. servicemen.
Meet Jai Courtney aka McClane JR
Jai Courtney (Jack McClane) has become highly sought after having already been cast opposite two of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the recent film Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise, and now A Good Day to Die Hard.
Jai was cast as a police detective opposite Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in Felony, which centers on a decorated cop (Edgerton) who runs a cyclist off the road after drinking with his buddies to celebrate a major gang bust. His split-second decision to lie about the incident changes everyone’s lives forever.
Jai was born and raised in the northwest region of Sydney, where he developed an early interest in acting. He participated in a state sponsored drama program for young people, which led him to audition for the National Institute of Dramatic Art after high school. In 2004 Jai joined the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) a well-respected institution in Perth that counts Hugh Jackman and the late Heath Ledger among its alumni, and from where he graduated in 2008.
Jai quickly landed guest star roles on two hit Australian shows, Packed to the Rafters and All Saints, and later that year he won a Theatre Critics Award for Best Newcomer for his performance in “The Turning” at the Perth Theatre Company.
In 2009 Jai landed the sought after role of Varro in the hit television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The character of Varro became the closest confidante to Spartacus until his death in the tenth episode. Fans of the show created an uproar over Varro’s death and to this day continue to lament about it on the many Spartacus fan sites and blogs.
Next, Jai was cast in Paramount’s Jack Reacher alongside Tom Cruise and Werner Herzog. The thriller, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, centers on the investigation of the murder of five people whose deaths seem random, but ultimately are not as they appear.
After Jack Reacher, Jai went directly to the Lionsgate film I, Frankenstein opposite Aaron Eckhart. The film is a modern twist on the classic horror tale, in which Jai plays the leader of one of two immortal clans raging in endless war, with Frankenstein’s soulless monster standing between them. It is directed by Stuart Beattie, and is scheduled for a 2013 release.
You ready to Die Hard yet?
A Good Day to Die Hard opens in cinemas 7 Feb
Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
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