Alan Rickman Suffered A Scary Injury Filming His Most Popular Movie

Alan Rickman tore his ACL on his first day of filming Die Hard, but luckily, he stayed onboard to finish the movie.

By Matthew Creith | Published

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Late English actor Alan Rickman left a legacy of important and culturally relevant performances in movies after he sadly passed away at the age of 69 in 2016, but his legacy is still felt by his loyal fanbase. The performer is known for his various roles in television and film, including the Harry Potter franchise, as well as the holiday-themed movie Love Actually. An interview that Alan Rickman once gave to Empire details how the actor once suffered a scary injury while filming the movie Die Hard, the action film that made Rickman a household name.

During his interview with Empire that took place in 2015, Alan Rickman details how he performed his own stunt and injured himself in the very first scene he shot for Die Hard, as the actor jumped from a three-foot-high ledge and quickly ripped the cartilage in his knee. The injury resulted in Rickman believing he might be out of a job, which happened to be his feature film debut in 1988. Even though he wasn’t fired from the shoot, Rickman had to stand on one foot during some scenes, where director John McTiernan chose to film the actor from the waist up to avoid confusing the audience.

Thankfully for Alan Rickman and Die Hard’s global audience, the actor continued to work on the film alongside protagonist John McClane, famously played by Bruce Willis. The movie, and Rickman’s character of Hans Gruber, became Rickman’s signature role, which was eventually recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest film villains in history. Die Hard spawned several sequels with various villains attached to it after the movie went on to gross over $140 million at the box office against a budget of close to $35 million.

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Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

After the success of Die Hard, Alan Rickman proceeded to gain recognition on the stage and screen for performances that would carry him through to veteran acting status in his later years. Rickman was eventually cast in the early aughts to portray Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a character he would embody for all seven movies of the initial Harry Potter franchise. In his acting career, Alan Rickman would go on to be nominated for two Tony Awards and once won the Primetime Emmy Award in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for Rasputin, of which he portrayed the titular character.

Alan Rickman passed away in 2016 after a long battle with cancer, which was initially caught after the actor suffered a stroke. While filming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rickman had been receiving treatments for prostate cancer, which seemed successful until later in his life when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even though he was injured on the set of Die Hard and chose to continue playing Hans Gruber in the blockbuster film, Alan Rickman might forever be remembered for his dedication to his craft and the mark he made on other productions seen by international audiences.