Veteran action hero Bruce Willis said he was thrilled to still be acting at the age of 52, acknowledging that his fourth Die Hard film had a high potential to flop.
What "is most surprising for me is that I'm still here, that I still get to be here. You know, just by the sheer fact of sticking around for 22 years," Willis said in Tokyo where he was present for the world premiere of Die Hard 4.
"Some actors don't get to stick around that long. I'm thrilled to still be here and get to act in big movies like Die Hard 4," he said, occasionally wiping his bald head with a wet towel.
Willis is the latest Hollywood star to return to his old roles later in life. Sylvester Stallone, 60, recently cut Rocky Balboa, about the underdog boxer heading once more time to the ring, and is filming another Rambo film.
Willis, playing cop John McClane, in the latest flick chases cyberhackers who attempt to crash US financial networks and stock markets to cripple the economy.
<b1>"When we started making this film the potential to fail was very high. There was a huge risk factor, trying to make another one of these films," he said. But "I think it really lived up to all our expectations."
"Now we're giggling like a bunch of fish but when we were making this film it was difficult," he said, pointing to the rushed schedule.
The movie is set to premiere on select screens in Japan on June 23, four days before its release in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Willis, wearing a tan suit with a white shirt in between co-stars Justin Long and Maggie Q, said he didn't see his character -- or himself -- as a hero.
"I don't see myself as a hero," he said. "So much of what I was as a kid coming out of New Jersey was what formed John McClane's character: disrespect for authority, a really jacked-up sense of humour. But I always have a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of justice.
"And I think that's where heroism comes from: that you will not allow anybody -- a bad guy, a bad country, a bad monster from outer space -- whatever it is... hurt someone that you love."