Hans Gruber
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Hans Gruber

Die Hard

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rating 8.5/10 (10 users)
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About Him

Grew up… in West Germany, where he joined the Volksfrei terrorist organization as a young man. He was later expelled by his fellow so-called freedom fighters, presumably for his willingness to use extreme methods. It’s rarely a good sign when you get tossed from a terrorist group for being too out-there.

Living… the life of a master criminal. Hans has recently concocted a plan to steal $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds from the Nakatomi Corporation on Christmas Eve.

Profession… thief, and an exceptional one. While theft is his area of expertise, Hans is willing to commit just about any crime to get what he wants. He’ll lie, kidnap, intimidate, and kill if a job requires it. He takes satisfaction from the feeling of outsmarting the authorities, and enjoys the tremendously lucrative spoils that accompany a well-executed robbery.

Interests… men’s fashion and classical literature. Hans isn’t your run-of-the-mill criminal; he’s highly educated and enjoys the finer things in life. It just so happens that crime offers the easiest way to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

Relationship status… unknown. Hans prefers to keep his personal life to himself. If he has a wife or a girlfriend, he’d be sure to make certain that no one could ever find out and use it against him.

Challenge… killing John McClane. Hans had a perfect plan to break into Nakatomi’s high-security bank vault to steal $640 million. He and his crew of 12 mercenaries would strike on Christmas Eve and seize the employees attending the Nakatomi Corporation Christmas party, pretending to be terrorists holding hostages to deflect police attention from their true motives. By the time the authorities figure out what they were really after, Hans and his team would be on a beach somewhere collecting interest on their stolen fortune. It’s a great plan, but one that failed to account for the presence of John McClane – an off-duty New York cop and the self-proclaimed “monkey-wrench” in Hans’ plan. Trapped together in the Nakatomi Plaza building, Gruber and McClane are poised to enter a fatal battle of brawn and wits where only one thing seems certain – one of them won’t live to see Christmas.

Personality… cold and calculating. Hans knows what he wants and will do anything to get it. He is comfortable with the idea of collateral damage and will happily blow someone’s brains out if it will get him closer to $640 million. Urbane and intelligent, Hans has an aristocratic kind of charisma that allows him to lead his crew of dangerous criminals. While he takes his work seriously, he possesses a dark sense of humor, and trades verbal barbs with McClane as they both do their damnedest to wipe each other from the face of the earth.

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