Beloved British actor Alan Rickman died on Thursday at age 69 after a long battle with cancer. Known for his roles as Severus Snap in the Harry Potter franchise and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Rickman will perhaps be remembered best for his performance as Hans Gruber, the German terrorist of Die Hard who launched Rickman's career.
More specifically, he'll probably be remembered for this scene, captured in GIF form courtesy of our friends at Gizmodo:
But few people know that this iconic shot was a bit of a shocker for Rickman. According to CineFix's 7 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Die Hard, published in 2014, that's because Rickman didn't know the drop was coming:
On this shot, when Hans falls from the ledge, the reaction is pretty priceless, right? It's priceless not just because Alan Rickman is a great actor, which he is, but because that is genuine shock and terror on his face.
Rickman agreed to do the fall for real from 25 feet high onto an airbag. Well, before the fall, they told him they'd count down from "3...2...1..go" and then release him on go. Rickman agreed and then prepared himself mentally for the stunt, but on the first take, instead of releasing him on 'go', they released him on 'one.'
CineFix was right: Despite Rickman's acting prowess, his shocked reaction is absolutely priceless. And lucky for you, CineFix has six more morsels of movie trivia to satiate you on this depressing day: