I was getting ready to leave my house to take my cat to the vet this morning when I received the following text from my wife:
I’ve been sitting here for the last few hours trying to figure out exactly how to say goodbye to Alan Rickman. Throughout the day, we’ve seen loads of tributes from Kevin Smith, Sir Ian McKellen, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson, among others. They’ve said loads that only they can say. I have no personal stories about Alan Rickman because I never had the chance to meet the man. I am merely a fan, so that’s how I’m going to bid adieu.
Alan Rickman is more than just an actor. His unmistakable dulcet voice is instantly recognizable and made an unassuming man become instantly sinister, a trademark that has made him one of the most legendary character actors to ever grace a silver screen. He had the unteachable ability to tell a story with his eyes. Rickman was able to act at both sides of the acting spectrum. Hans Gruber was subtly sinister while the Sheriff of Nottingham was cartoonishly villainous. It never mattered which performance he gave, it was always brilliant and memorable.
Of course, we all know of his brilliant work in Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and the Harry Potter series, but his work spans almost 40 years of theater and film. Truly, Madly, Deeply, Sense and Sensibility, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and, of course, Galaxy Quest. If you’re a fan of Alan Rickman, any of these movies should be on your list of his best performances.
I stated in a previous article that the first film I’d seen Alan Rickman in was Die Hard. To this day that movie and series resonate with me. For me, I’ve always seen him as Hans Gruber. Others see him as Severus Snape, Sheriff George of Nottingham, or even Metatron. From the stage to big-budget films, he gave his all in every single role he played. It is a trait that seems to be lost amongst a lot of actors today who would rather collect a paycheck than leave a mark on the world. And that’s exactly what he has done, and that’s why his death has broken the hearts of so many.
Alan Rickman stated in an interview with IFC in 2008,
“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”
Not many actors can do what has done, and not many more will be able to do it. He’s a legend, a master, one of the greatest actors to ever live, and he will be greatly missed by millions of people across the world. If I could say anything to Alan Rickman, it would be “Thank you for changing my world.”
Image Courtesy of The Winter’s Circle