During a taping of The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis over the weekend, the Die Hard star and man of the hour took a tough stance by stating the film is not a Christmas movie. Released in 1988, Die Hard being a Christmas movie has become a point of contention among fans over the years thanks to its clear action-thriller nature and Christmas setting.
Die Hard focuses on Willis’ character John McClane, an NYPD officer visiting his wife in Los Angeles. While attending a Christmas party at her office in Nakatomi Plaza, McClane is forced into action after German terrorists, led by Alan Rickman’s iconic Hans Gruber, take over the building. The non-holiday tone and plot paired with the clear Christmastime setting has created much online debate as to whether or not the film itself is a Christmas movie. Some fans argue that not only does it qualify for the category, but it’s actually among the best.
According to coverage of the taping from THR, Willis has his own opinion on the matter and is clearly in the non-Christmas movie camp. While Willis only took the stage briefly, as is customary for the subject of a roast, he did use the opportunity to close the ceremonies with the strong declaration that “Die Hard is not a Christmas movie!” A report from IndieWire suggests he went even further by doubling down with “It’s a g*****n Bruce Willis movie!” When questioned after the show about how he thought his fans might react, Willis only replied, “We’ll see.”
The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis, which airs July 29, was hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Willis’ co-star in the films Looper and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and featured roasters Nikki Glaser, Jeff Ross, Lil Rel Howery, Edward Norton, and Dennis Rodman – but not Kevin Smith. Willis’ ex-wife, actress Demi Moore, also made a surprise appearance, getting in a few jabs about the difference in his quality of work both during and after their marriage. Besides Willis and their co-performers on stage, many of the roasters chose to take shots at Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey.
With a filmography that not only includes the Die Hard franchise – which Willis has confirmed as recently as February is churning out a sixth installment – but also films like RED, The Expendables, The Fifth Element, and many others, it’s hard to argue that the actor wouldn’t know an action film when he sees one. Does the film being set on Christmas Eve affect this assessment? Not according to Willis.