Bruce Willis Is Still ‘Die Hard’ 19 Years Later

Bruce Willis is back on the big screen taking on the bad guys in the fourth installment of the “Die Hard” series, “Live Free or Die Hard.” Willis returns as John McClane, this time going up against a group of cyber-terrorists led by Timothy Olyphant (“Go,” “Deadwood”).

And with this film, the fourth in the franchise, Willis believes the fans will be quite happy with the finished product.

“I’ve seen the film,” he said, “so, you know, I’m excited because I know it did turn out so well.”

In fact, Bruce told Access Hollywood‘s Maria Menounos earlier this month that the goal in making “Live Free” was to top the original. “It’s at least as good, if not better at times, than the first film,” he said.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Bobby,” “Final Destination 3”) joins the cast playing Willis’ daughter. She was happy to report to Access at an early stage of shooting that things hadn’t yet been all bumps and bruises. “I’m not too roughed up yet. We’ve done more kinda just fighting with Bruce. We kinda have a strained relationship so it’s been more of the relationship stuff.”

Though since this is a “Die Hard” movie, it’s probably safe to assume things for the younger McClane will escalate past a few war of words with dad.

Actor Justin Long, whose character helps McClane thwart the latest threat against humanity, told Access what it was like to work with Willis on the film.

“It was really surreal,” said Long, who is best known for his roles in “Accepted” and commercials for Apple computers. “He’s a big iconic action star, and I’m just a small town nerd from Connecticut…The audience will happy to know that I, when the action comes — when it’s time for the real hardcore stuff — I kind of am on the sideline.”

Believe it or not, it was 19 years ago that Bruce hit the big screen as the tough-as-nails, wisecracking John McClane and to this date, “Die Hard” has stood the test of time. Entertainment Weekly even rated the film #1 on its list of greatest action movies of all-time.

But Bruce is the first to admit things have changed somewhat since the first “Die Hard” hit screens back in 1988. “It was a little easier twenty years ago,” he told Access during filming. Joking about the road to finding him on the set all these years later, Bruce offered this: “Just look for the blood. Follow the blood trail. And at the end you’ll see me on my knees crying.”

“A lot of the physical stuff that they had me doing (for ‘Live Free’) was still, let’s say, low-tech,” he told Vanity Fair in its June issue. “I don’t bounce as well off the concrete floors as I used to. There are those `ouch’ moments that actually hurt.”

“It gets really un-fun on Take Two, you know? You hope they got it in Take One,” he said. “I’m glad I didn’t wait a couple more years to do this.”

Of course, those stunts didn’t come without a price tag.

“There’s a fight sequence between myself and Maggie Q that rivals any fight sequence I’ve ever done,” he revealed to Access.

That would be Maggie Q. - of “M:i:III” fame – a martial arts expert who gave Bruce a bit of a headache when she reportedly kicked him in the head during one of the scenes.

“She does a pretty good job of whipping my ass,” he smiled.

“Live Free or Die Hard” is in theaters now.

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