Shelby Loasby | Head of Print and April Wilson | TV Director
“If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.” (Alan Rickman)
If the news on Monday that musical legend David Bowie passing away wasn’t enough. Now cancer has taken another great British member of the showbiz community; Alan Rickman.
Known for his extensive and inspiring performances on stage and behind the screen, the Harry Potter actor was a highly respected and appreciated actor who will be sorely missed.
News of his death was announced on Thursday 14th January and he was said to have passed away ‘surrounded by friends and family.’
Actors, authors and friends who had shared the screen and stage with Rickman took to Twitter to show their respects;
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man. — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
Daniel Radcliffe’s post about Alan Rickman just gave me tears. pic.twitter.com/hxLWYqzTQg
— ️ (@kappuccino) January 14, 2016
Another huge actor sadly taken away, an Icon and a Legend.. Rest in Peace #AlanRickman pic.twitter.com/DOw89zRFtB — Colin Morgan (@Colinwebsite) January 14, 2016
“Talent is an accident of genes – and a responsibility.” – Alan Rickman #RIPAlanRickmanpic.twitter.com/Uy74g9UFz3 — Harry Potter World (@PotterWorldUK) January 14, 2016 The general feeling in the world at the moment is pretty much summed up in this tweet:
Dear Cancer… #AlanRickman#Bowie#Lemmypic.twitter.com/xyfm2RmpOq — Gigwise (@Gigwise) January 14, 2016
Alan Rickman had a long and varied career from Die Hard to Love Actually but it was portrayal of Snape in the Harry Potter series that was without a doubt his most famous role. And is unquestionably one of his most iconic. For me though I will always remember Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
I mean who can forget him yelling:
“I’m going to cut your heart out with a spoon!”
“Why a spoon, cousin?”
“Because it’s dull you twit. It will hurt more.”
Let’s face it the idea of Alan Rickman digging into anyone’s chest is amusing, or at least for me (don’t question my life choices) but the fact that he says ‘twit’ just exemplifies Alan Rickman for me. He is just so quintessentially British and that for me is part of his charm. He demonstrates the British humour at its best spoon stabbing glory. That is why to this day if anyone crosses me they will have their heart cut out, and it will be with a spoon.
Still one of the most deadly threats of all time (in his role as Sheriff Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
However, you cannot discuss Alan Rickman without mentioning his fantastic portrayal of Snape within the Harry Potter series. It is what you cannot help but associate him with. Even now when watching him in Sense and Sensibility and Love Actually (arguably one of the best Christmas movies of all time) I cannot help but screech ‘Oh My God It’s Snape!’ Whether you believe is the true understated hero of the franchise or not no one can deny Alan Rickman’s truly phenomenal performance. He was perfect in every sense of the word. From his truly distinctive voice to the mannerisms. He was a true comedic talent. We all could believe that as Snape he would genuinely push your head down for talking (still one of the best moments in the franchise) like he did to Ron and Harry.
The reason it worked so well is that he did not take himself too seriously.
“I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.” (Alan Rickman)
However, he still took the role seriously in itself. In the wrong hands Snape could have easily become an over the top caricature but Rickman it was nuanced and beautifully thought out performance. But he also genuinely made you believe in the intensity of Snape’s love for Lily. He made you believe he would generally go through all of that for her. Let’s face it there was barely a dry eye at his death scene.
Snape mourning Lily’s death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
He was quite simply perfect.
You may ask even after all this time?
And the answer of course has to be always.