The end of the year is marked by countless celebrations, and cherished traditions. There are many time-honoured ways to kick of the season. For many it begins with celebrations of light, for others it begins when Hans Gruber falls from Nakatomi Plaza. That’s right, Personality Dimensions® back at the movies with the classic holiday film, Die Hard. I’m not here to argue whither or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, because clearly it is; I want to dive into the unique personalities of the characters that made the film great. Die Hard, is more than just an action-packed classic. It’s not just about explosions and suspense—it’s got characters with a lot of depth, and a timeless story.
John McClane – Resourceful Orange
At the heart of Die Hard is Bruce Willis’s character, John McClane; an NYPD detective who arrived in Los Angeles, hoping to reconcile with his estranged with at Christmastime. As a Resourceful Orange, McClane’s quick thinking and hands-on approach is seen throughout the film when he adapts and improvises, using unconventional items to overcome challenges. Things like fashioning makeshift explosives using C-4, an office chair, and an old-school computer monitor, or navigating the building barefoot because things started to go down when he had his shoes off, showcases his adaptability and resourcefulness in the face of unexpected challenges.
Holly McClane – Organized Gold
Holly McClane, played by Bonnie Bedelia’s is a high-ranking executive at Nakatomi Corporation, and John McClane’s estranged wife. She shows that she is an Organized Gold through her commitment to structure and order in the midst of chaos. Throughout the film, she remains focused on maintaining a sense of order and control, attempting to negotiate with Hans Gruber in a calm and composed manner. Her pragmatic and no-nonsense approach to problem-solving and determination to protect her colleagues, reflects an Organized Gold’s preference for clear plans and sticking to rules.
Hans Gruber – Inquiring Green
The cunning villain of the film, Hans Gruber, played by the late Alan Rickman embodies an Inquiring Green. (Why are villains always portrayed as Inquiring Green???) Gruber’s calm and strategic leadership shows through as he meticulously plans the heist in Nakatomi Plaza. His calculated negotiations with Holly show an Inquiring Green’s analytical and big-picture thinking. Gruber’s tactical thinking during the hostage situation—particularly his ability to outsmart both the hostages and law enforcement—highlights how Inquiring Greens can find innovative, new ways to achieve their goals, even when things get difficult.
Al Powell – Authentic Blue
Al Powell, played by Reginald VelJohnson, only wanted to get home to his pregnant wife before getting sent in to investigate an apparent emergency at Nakatomi Plaza. His empathy and moral support for John McClane throughout the film shows that he is an Authentic Blue. During his radio conversation with John, he not only listens attentively to McClane’s struggles but also openly shares his own vulnerability, sharing the tragic incident that led to his desk duty. This willingness to connect on an emotional level and share personal experiences shows his empathetic and people-focused nature as an Authentic Blue.
Die Hard, arguably the greatest Christmas movie ever made, not only delivers exciting action, a timeless storyline, and some unforgettable one-liners, but it’s also a fascinating exploration of characters representing each of the four personality dimensions. Seeing Die Hard through the lens of personality allows us to understand the characters on a deeper level, adding another layer to the enjoyment of this iconic Christmas film.
Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is a lifelong introvert, and the Associate Director at CLSR Inc. He was thrown into the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back! Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners and HR Professionals get the right tools to do their best work.