One of the main reasons we love John McClane in Die Hard is Bruce Willis’ portrayal. He imbues the character with humanity at every turn. McClane’s not a superhero. Not super human. Just a regular guy, with street smarts, who’s in an extraordinary situation. Who chooses to be brave in spite of remarkable odds and uncertainty.
One way this humanity evidences itself is McClane’s self talk when doing difficult things. Watch this scene as McClane ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps off the roof to escape an explosion.
Willis brilliantly and authentically voices the doubt inside. His self-talk, while filled with “what the f*ck are you doing, John?…” also has a spirit of rooting himself on. He’s getting himself to act. Pushing through the uncertainty.
Making art is hard. It’s crazy. There’s a million reasons why it won’t work. But we do it anyway. And when doing it, we must pay attention to our self talk. That voice in our head. Is it empowering? Does it move us forward? Get us to take action?
If not, change it. Watch Die Hard. Get a little John McClane in ya.