It's always a good day to talk about Die Hard.
But July 15 is particularly appropriate, since that's the day in 1988 when the action thriller opened in theaters, turning Bruce Willis into a movie star and proving that there's no wrong time of year to celebrate Christmas.
"It broke boundaries," Reginald VelJohnson, whose Sgt. Al Powell served as Willis' character John McClane's eyes and ears on the ground, told E! News in an exclusive interview. "And it was a very good film from the beginning."
It was also a hit, making $142 million worldwide. Which maybe doesn't sound explosive in MCU box office terms, but it was made for only $28 million, and at the time Willis was known for TV's Moonlighting, Alan Rickman was just some British import and VelJohnson's biggest movie moment to date was telling the Ghostbusters the mayor wanted to see them.
Then, Die Hard changed all their lives.
Yet even when VelJohnson got the part, he had no idea how important his role was going to be—to McClane, as the embattled cop who literally crawls through broken glass to save his wife and her fellow hostages from the terrorists who crashed her office Christmas party, and to the movie's overall entertainment factor.
He sat down with E! News to reminisce about the making of the enduring classic, so you will not have to read about it in TIME magazine.