David Harbour shares how Bruce Willis’ John McClane influenced his Santa Claus in Violent Night
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Featured Image Credit: 87North/20th Century Fox
David Harbour's stint as Santa Claus in the hit festive comedy Violent Night was partly inspired by another unlikely Christmas hero, Bruce Willis' John McClane.
Violent Night is a Christmas film with a very bloody twist. It revolves around the rich, Connecticut-based Lightstone family who are targeted by armed robbers on Christmas Eve, led by the formidable Jimmy 'Mr. Scrooge' Martinez (John Leguizamo).
Thankfully, Santa Claus (Harbour) drops down the family's chimney and is ready and willing to save the day by brawling and beating the intruders to a bloody pulp.
There have obviously been lots of cinematic interpretations of the man with the bag but none have have been quite like Harbour's.
"I'm always pulling from stuff from my real life and there's also tropes that I'm pulling from, like there is almost a John McClane Die Hard trope in there where you're playing a bit of John McClane," Harbour shared with UNILAD.
But the actor's favourite version of Santa Claus on film is from an old classic.
"But to me, the greatest representation of Santa on film is that old black and white Miracle on 34th Street.
"Maybe it's because I saw it when I was so young, but I really still believe that guy is Santa Claus," he laughs,
In order to pull-off his performance as a vigilante Santa Claus - who stabs his foes with sharpened candy canes and bludgeons them with a hammer - the Marvel star underwent combat training.
"I trained with the guys for a couple months of jiu jitsu and Greco Roman wrestling and strike hammer work, weapon work and all sorts of combat.
Harbour described the finished fighting scenes as 'complex' and 'spectacular'.
"It was the hardest time I've ever trained for anything like this and it was the most I've ever gotten in film," he shared.
"It was exhausting and difficult and crazy, but also really satisfying and I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish.”
At the start of the film Harbour's Santa Claus has a drink at a Bristol pub with mall Santas and many of us having memories meeting as children.
Harbour is no exception, which he called 'a very confusing experience'.
"I just remember […] Of course needing to go tell Santa Claus what I wanted but also being very confused at a certain time because I knew he wasn't the only Santa Claus out there and I wasn't sure if he was the real one or not," the New York native recalled.
"It's a very confusing experience. When you're around six or seven, you start to get an inkling that this might not be the actual guy from the North Pole because he's got that fake beard that's kind of hanging off him.
"But you still are compelled to go up and tell him what you want. So I remember that that weird, complicated feeling."
We can relate!
Violent Night is in cinemas now.
Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Christmas, David Harbour