The third oral history put together by Death and Taxes editor in chief Brian Abrams is a ton of fun. Following similar looks at the NBC years of David Letterman and Gawker Media, the subject this time is beloved 1988 action movie Die Hard.
Abrams spoke with about 40 people. Not participating, unfortunately, is Bruce Willis, as it would have been fascinating to hear his memories. But there’s plenty to enjoy, including this tidbit involving the use of Fox Plaza in Century City as the stand-in for Nakatomi Plaza:
STEVEN E. DE SOUZA [writer]: The room where he [John McClane] loses his shoes, and there’s a giant fight, right? That was the floor that became Ronald Reagan’s office. When they moved into his [34th floor] office, there were bullets and empty cartridges all over the place. The brass was like, “Wait a minute. What’s this?”…
FRANK URIOSTE [editor]: Oh my god, I do remember that day. We neglected to tell the FBI that this was going on. They thought it looked like a terrorist attack. It was pretty serious for about an hour.
We’re talking blank bullets and cartridges, but still. Also in the book are lots of details about Willis’ early days as a Cafe Central bartender in New York and the struggles of convincing Fox to hire him for the lead role. The book is priced at $2.99.