You’ll have to forgive me if this is a bit, well, crap. I haven’t really done this before and I’m not too sure how it will come off. I’m also allowing myself to be distracted as I watch Galaxy Quest, an odd choice to some, but it’s one of my favourite Alan Rickman performances, and that’s quite important to this article.
If you hadn’t already seen, and it wasn’t clear by the title, sadly the world lost one of the most wonderful actors today, Alan Rickman. A behemouth in the acting industry, a crying shame that he is gone. The man just seemed to ooze class, charm and dignity. Somehow, with whatever role he took on, he was loveable. You knew Rickman from the moment you heard his voice on screen. His iconic voice, that striking voice which lent itself effortlessly to comedy and larger than life villainous roles, but he could immerse himself in so much more. Whether he was smacking heads with a bunch of meddling pre-teen wizards, calling off Christmas, or just plain holding it hostage, Rickman demanded your attention whenever he appeared, and no matter which iconic, vastly different role he undertook, there was always one common denominator, you couldn’t help but love Rickman on screen.
My first early hazy cinematic memory came from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as the instantly recognisable Sheriff of Nottingham. His outrageously large performance, which would outshine Kevin Costner and everyone else on screen, would earn him a BAFTA nod. It wouldn’t be until a couple years later that I saw another Alan Rickman film. The one I currently have on now, Galaxy Quest – the performance I still hold to date as one of my personal favourites. Then what followed was of course arguable two of his most commercially successful and mainstream roles in Love Actually and as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, a role that I wouldn’t appreciate the brilliance of until I was later on into my teens. That’s where I would dive more into Alan Rickman’s filmography, searching out classics I had yet to see like Die Hard (I was a late bloomer to that) and Dogma. Somewhere along the lines I even managed to sneak in Blow Dry! I can’t pretend to have seen the likes of Sense and Sensibility – period drama’s aren’t really my thing – though now I feel might be the perfect time to do it.
While starting out on the stage, his on-screen career spanned over 30 years, and in some ways you feel like that wasn’t quite enough. His screen debut came in 1978 at the age of 32, something which should inspire any young struggling actor in their 20s. Not every great actor becomes a star from childhood. You might be a slow burner, you might start off with some weak roles, but then you might grow to become one of the most best-loved bad guys in film.
Alan Rickman was truly admired and playfully loathed by his peers and legions of fans alike. I didn’t know him. I never met him. I’m just a fan of his work, one who would like to say thank you, Alan, for all the wonderful films you gave to us.
By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!