Actor Alan Rickman, who was living with cancer, is dead at 69. While there's plenty to love about the man who brought us the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, it's his role in another film franchise that's particularly illuminating.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2015, Rickman said he took the role of German terrorist Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard film because he was impressed with the film's treatment of its black characters.
"Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent," he told the Guardian. "So, 28 years ago, that's quite revolutionary, and quietly so." Rickman was mainly a stage actor when took the role in the Hollywood action movie at the age of 41.
Die Hard made $83 million when it was released in 1988. Adjusted for inflation, that would equal about $173 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
From his comments, it seems like Rickman knew, nearly 30 years go, that Hollywood had a diversity problem. Rickman's comments are particularly poignant today, as Oscar nominations were announced and were once again filled with white actors.