Bruce Willis poses with his less-refined alter-ego.Photo: Getty Images
We’d heard there was going to be a giant fan-appreciation ceremony to kick off Friday’s Live Free or Die Hard premiere at Radio City Music Hall. “Get there at 5:30 p.m.!” the press release told us. So we showed up on time, expecting Bruce Willis to, you know, fall 50 feet from a burning helicopter onto the red carpet, or maybe fight some villain in an elevator shaft the studio would transport to Sixth Avenue just for the occasion. (We would have been willing to sacrifice the Fox building just for spectacle’s sake.) But instead we stood around feeling entirely unappreciated for the next three and a half hours, before things unexpectedly picked up.
Granted, we’re not — wait for it — die-hard fans of the series. But in a red-carpet anomaly, we were standing directly opposite actual living, breathing fans: We watched them get handed little “Yippie Ki Yay Motherf…” signs attached to giant tongue depressors. (Full curse word, as in the new PG-13-rated sequel, not included.) Every time some minor cast member appeared, some annoying radio jocks on a platform ordered the fans to scream. Too bad they didn’t know who anyone was, since there’s no cast overlap from the previous two Die Hard movies aside from the almighty John McClane.
When Willis finally came, he stood on the platform entertaining TV crews for what seemed like an eternity. Then he turned to the ever-dwindling pen of fans and screamed, “Thank you so much!” The 450-foot-long red carpet, which may have been the longest in New York history, made it slightly harder for Willis to run away from the print press, who’d been waiting an excruciatingly long time to talk to him. He glared at us and walked away when we asked him how, exactly, does someone die hard, and ran off to get his picture taken with Demi, Ashton, and the kiddies. The movie, it turns out, was well worth the wait. As was chasing Willis’s daughter Scout to the concession line. Her dad likes Twizzlers, in case you were wondering. —Jada Yuan
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