“The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from and what might be possible.” – Alan Rickman
For a man who didn’t start acting in films till his 40s, Alan Rickman had a bloody awesome career.
Rickman’s first cinematic role as the infamous Die Hard villain Hans Gruber was so memorable that it was voted the 46th Greatest Villain by the AFI. Of course, his most endearing role was as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, a casting match made in heaven: a character he lifted seamlessly from the page.
Yet somehow the man was never even nominated for an Oscar, which surely now must be seen as a travesty on the Academy’s part. I would like to think he receives a posthumous ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Oscar awaits at the 2016 ceremony yet this would amount to nothing more than a backhanded apology for failing to recognise a fantastic talent.
Who was Alan Rickman to me? He was an actor for my generation, standing out in films 20 and 30-somethings grew up on as the go-to villain. A childhood favourite of mine – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – only worked because of Rickman’s terrifically villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, otherwise it was just yet another 90s Kevin Costner flick. He was the villain you loved to hate, a master manipulator of abstruse roles that demanded emotional complexity, and above all a humble man who appreciated the need for a good story.
Although we tend to focus on his ability to play ‘the bad (good) guy’ many overlook his comedic side. Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Dogma and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are evident to his adeptness as an actor. Unfortunately, like many millions of people, I have never had the pleasure of meeting Rickman. However, I am sure, as is evident from the glowing tributes to him from friends and celebrities (and fans) alike, that he was a wonderful human being that the world will sadly miss.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Rickman has two films out in 2016. The legend lives on beyond the grave.