02/13/2013 06:58 am ET Updated Feb 13, 2013

Why Did Bruce Willis Almost Turn Down 'Die Hard' 25 Years Ago? (VIDEO)

Is the world ready for Pope Bruce I? "Pray Hard"? Bruce Willis came out wearing a Papal hat for his appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" and said he was ready to fill the position.

He later admitted that he almost turned down the role that would come to define so much of his career. Almost 25 years ago, he almost said no to being John McClane in "Die Hard." Not because he didn't like the role, but because he was just too busy.

"They called me a couple times when I was doing ‘Moonlighting,’ and I said I can’t do it, fellas," Willis explained. "I just can’t do it, I’m doing my show. And, thank God, Cybill Shepherd got pregnant and Glenn Caron gave us off 11 weeks and I went to go and do ‘Die Hard.'"

A quarter of a century later and Bruce Willis is still finding time to make "Die Hard" movies. "A Good Day to Die Hard" is the fifth film in the series. It opens in theaters nationwide on Valentine's Day.

Catch "Late Show with David Letterman" every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST on CBS.

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