In Remembrance of Alan Rickman
No one could have played Severus Snape better than Alan Rickman. Seriously, no one could have. Him being given the part was incredibly inspired casting, quite possibly the best casting decision of all time, and he was perfect. People like me who grew up reading Harry Potter looked at Rickman in the movie adaptations and said, “Yes, that is Snape.”
Shortly after watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I turned my attention to the rest of Rickman’s work. Of course I knew about his brilliant portrayal of Hans Gruber, pretty much the best villain ever, in Die Hard. I, like many others, was entertained by his comedic work in Galaxy Quest and Dogma. Hell, I could even quote from memory things Elliot Marston said in my grandpa’s favorite movie, Quigley Down Under. I wanted to know more about this magnificent man, though.
So I started consuming every bit of entertainment featuring Rickman I could find. I watched Nobel Son based solely on the fact that he was in it (it was crap, but he was pretty good). Thanks to YouTube I was able to see Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny, which Rickman won an Emmy and Golden Globe for and which also stars Sir Ian McKellen, and some of his stage work in plays such as Private Lives. I had Rickman fever.
Rickman got into acting at the age of 40 (40!) and his projects aside from Harry Potter, Die Hard, and perhaps Galaxy Quest are relatively unknown and few and, to me, way too far between. Everyone (including myself) will remember him as Snape and Gruber, but I’ll also remember him as one of my favorite actors ever. I genuinely consider him in my top four of all time at least because no matter what the movie was, I would watch it if Rickman’s name was attached. That he never won an Oscar (he wasn’t even nominated!) and hasn’t ever been placed among the pantheon of Hollywood’s elite doesn’t matter to me.
Rickman’s trademark intonation earned him the distinction of having the perfect male voice. His…dramatic pauses…are the stuff…of legend. I have his exact voice imprinted in my memory and I hope it stays there for as long as I can recall such things. For the record, I can also do a fairly decent impersonation.
R.I.P. Alan Rickman. Thank you for being a part of my life and for entertaining me. Cancer claiming a person at the age of 69 (as it did David Bowie just the other day) or at any age is a cruel injustice of this mortal coil. But coping and moving on is the human way, and right now all I can do is remember, and I will do so forever. Or I should say…always.