What Hitman ‘s Agent 47 Learned from McClane

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If you go to see Live Free or Die Hard this week, you might want to get there early to catch the new trailer for Hitman starring Timothy Olyphant, who plays the baddie in Bruce Willis’ movie and will also star as Agent 47 in the movie based on the popular video game.

When ComingSoon.net sat down with Olyphant before the New York premiere of Live Free or Die Hard last week, he told us how “Die Hard” became a good learning experience for headlining his own movie. “The conversation about ‘Hitman’ actually came up in conversation even before we started shooting this. It all happened fairly quickly. It’s the same studio, and it was quite flattering, by the way, that they would consider me for one of those projects, let alone both, so that was really nice being able to work for the same people back-to-back, that they seemingly had confidence in me for both. It’s exciting. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. I’m thrilled.”

“I don’t know if it would be fair to say that it got me more excited about the movie at that time,” he continued. “What it did was that I remember feeling like I was paying closer attention to Bruce, learning from him, knowing that I was going to go into the ‘Hitman’ movie, not having ever been in that position, that kind of vehicle, not that it’s comparable to ‘Die Hard,’ but it was the first time that I was going to be in that position, first on the call sheet on an action film and try to carry it. Not necessarily about the acting and that part of the job, but just how he handles himself on the set, and how he deals withÂ… he’s quite involved in everything. He’s quite invested in everything. He’s very smart and he is very calm, and he knows how to handle (things). He’s just been-there done-that, so as much as I could, I remember countless times on the ‘Hitman’ set asking myself, ‘Well, what would Bruce do? How would he handle this?’ And that was great. I was very lucky to have this (movie) precede that. It’s new territory for me, and really, traveling with Bruce the last couple weeks and going to Berlin and London and seeing him handle these events and these press conferences and the international journalists and for me to have this experience before ‘Hitman’ came out is an incredible education and very, very helpful.”

In the last few years, Olyphant’s become more recognizable for his role playing Seth Bullock on HBO’s “Deadwood,” which was recently cancelled, and we wondered whether there were still plans to continue the story into a series of movies as originally planned. Olyphant was doubtful. “I have no idea. There’s been ongoing talk about those things for a long, long time. I, for better or for worse, have the perspective of ‘don’t hold your breath.’ My feeling is that the fact that show existed at all for as long as it did was a miracle of sorts. It was an incredible experience, and I’m very, very thankful, and as a fan of the show like everybody else, it would have been nice to see it end in a different way or have more life to it, but as far as I’m concerned, they don’t owe me anything. It was a tremendous experience, I look at it that way. I walk away going, ‘I must be a better actor because of that show.’ Three years on TV is better than seven years on TV, you know?”

Live Free or Die Hard opens today in theatres nationwide. Hitman is scheduled to open on October 12. (You can check out the trailer for the latter by clicking on the title, and also check out our interview with Die Hard director Len Wiseman here.)