Alfie Boe is fighting the good fight, this Christmas.
Around this time of year, many celebrities will be signing up to star in supermarket TV campaigns or release a new line of knitwear – but the British tenor has something better in store for his fans. He has just teamed up with Disney Plus to proclaim, once and for all, that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
The 1989 action movie starring Bruce Willis has long been considered a touchy subject when discussed during the festive season. Of course, the picture is set on Christmas Eve and contains all sorts of references to the annual holiday – but considering John McClane spends most of his 132 minutes on screen murdering terrorists… it isn’t an easy fit into the Christmas aisle. It’s A Wonderful Life this certainly ain’t.
Well, to make his point, Alfie performed an original song in defence of Die Hard with The Kingdom Choir, where he blasted out lyrics such as: “12 villains crash the party / 12 days of Christmas. Coincidental? We think not / Eighteen mentions of the word Christmas / Quite the merry melting pot”. (Watch the incredible video here)
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Alfie said when Disney Plus approached him with this project, he “jumped at the chance” to defend his favourite Christmas movie.
Alfie pointed out: “Sleigh bells are heard at one minute 50 [seconds in the film], John McClane is wished Merry Christmas on his way from the airport, his wife is called Holly! I mean it’s… there’s just so many references to Christmas Eve. So Lyrically, the song was, was perfect.”
This campaign is important to Alfie as he truly “loves Christmas”. “I love this time of year,” he said. “And it is so much fun to see people having fun, celebrating and being with the families and laughing and joking and just having a good time. And it’s always very exciting for me.” With a laugh, he added that he’ll be “very depressed when it’s over”.
This year, he’ll be skiing with his children before sharing hot chocolate with them and cooking some “brilliant” meals.
Beyond the festive season (and once Die Hard has rolled credits) Alfie is keen to get back to work. He’s just announced a brand new summer tour kicking off in May, and he’s also excited to get back on stage in the near future.
Alfie is now a household name, but that didn’t really begin until he played Jean Valjean in his breakout performance in Les Miserables. He went on to take such powerful roles as JM Barrie in Finding Neverland on Broadway.
Looking ahead, he’d still love to place himself firmly centre-stage in theatres every night of the week. But the last time he tried to get back into Broadway, he told us, he was left with an empty answering machine. “It’s funny,” he smiled. “I try not to go out searching for roles or look for roles because sometimes I find that they don’t… they don’t happen.
“I literally put the feelers out … to do Sweeney Todd, and to do it in America on Broadway. It didn’t–It didn’t happen. It wasn’t really considered and it’s a little frustrating. So I try not to go searching for those roles now, let those the roles come to me.”
Despite this setback, Alfie still has a list of roles he’d love to take on in the near future. “I mean,” he admitted. “There’s classic productions, classic shows that I would have liked to have been a part of … But to be honest, I think some of the classic productions, like Sunday in the Park With George, some Sondheim productions – I’d love to do Company, I’d love to do Sweeney Todd one day, that would be great.”
Does he miss hitting the stage multiple times a week, despite it being such a demanding job? “I do, you know. When you’re doing it, I think the slog of it being seven, eight shows a week, it gets a bit much and you think ‘Oh I’m so tired, ready to call it a day’. And then a few months down the line, you’re itching to get back on stage, get back into another production.”
“So yeah, I do miss it,” Alfie continued. “I do miss that. And I’d like to try at some point try and prioritise getting back on stage getting, back into the West End production, if I can. It’s just been my time has just been taken up with records and touring. And it is hard to commit and you definitely do you need to commit when you are in a production.”
Stream Die Hard now on Disney+, available from £4.99 a month, and watch ‘Ode to Die Hard’ starring Alfie Boe and The Kingdom Choir on the Disney+ YouTube channel here.