A Very Splendid Man
To bastardise a quote: to lose one icon may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
Two much beloved iconic artists gone in one week, at the same age, both from cancer; it is horrible. If I am honest I will miss Alan Rickman much more. David Bowie was a great man and a superb artist, but I feel much more of a connection with Alan Rickman because he has played so many of my favourite characters.
I first saw Alan Rickman as the odious Mr Slope in Barchester Chronicles and my love for him has only grown since.
He was an actor who seemed to be able to take on any kind of part; villain, hero, comic relief, and make such a stamp on it that it was impossible to take your eyes off him while he was on screen. I regret that I was never able to see him on stage.
He turned down the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham twice in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves before being allowed to take the character in his own direction, according to Wikipedia. Thank god for that, because he makes that film. His Sheriff is just fantastic and evil, as well as being sexy even when he's being horrible.
I know I didn't see Die Hard until quite a long time after it was originally released, probably when they first showed it on TV. Of course I rooted for the hero, still do, but Hans Gruber is another of Rickman's genius roles. I read somewhere yesterday, that apparently they were going to have him in all this tactical gear to begin with, but he suggested the suit. It seems Alan Rickman is the reason for the greatness of many of his roles not only for his acting ability, but because of the suggestions he made as well.
So there you have some superb villains, but he was so versatile he wasn't limited to bad guys. He also played the comic relief; I love him in The January Man as Ed, the eccentric artist who takes over Nick's (Kevin Kline) apartment whenever he feels like it because the light is better.
Galaxy Quest where he's playing an actor who makes his living pretending to be the alien Dr Lazarus of Tev'Mack. He is something of the straight man, the foil for Tim Allen's Jason Nesmith, and he is brilliant. My husband and I watched Galaxy Quest again last night because it won the toss between it, Die Hard and Prince of Thieves.
Here he plays a caricature of himself playing an alien who helps a real alien race save their species. Brilliance!
Truly, Madly, Deeply where Rickman plays Jamie, a cellist who returns as a ghost to help his girlfriend, as played by Juliet Stevenson, get over his death. It is an amazing film and Rickman is amazing in it.
I don't think there was a role Alan Rickman couldn't play. I think if he had been given an action hero he would have pulled it off. He definitely managed to be the villain to the hero enough times.
And of course I cannot begin to complete my list of my favourites of his roles without mentioning the tortured Professor Snape. Really he was far too old for the role, Snape was supposed to be much younger, but who could have played it better? He single handedly launched the Snape fandom into the huge expanse it is now.
Given the Harry Potter fandom I have no doubt there would have been much meta written about such a pivotal character anyway, but there is no doubt that Alan Rickman is the reason for a hell of a lot of the fanfiction.
Alan Rickman was a great actor and from all I have seen written about him, an amazing man and good friend to all those he knew as well. He leaves behind a superb legacy and my heart goes out to his family.
Thank you Alan for sharing your talent with us. Thank you for taking us on so many wonderful journeys be it to cheer your characters on or to gnash our teeth at their nastiness. May you rest in peace.