It is with great sadness that I write this piece. This week, in the space of four days, Britain lost two brilliantly gifted and charming men; two men with passion and talent for everything they did. Though my interest in Bowie’s music began a few years ago, I’ve been spellbound by Alan Rickman since watching the very first Harry Potter film in 2001. I’ve been obsessed since I first heard that unmistakably rich, sonorous voice. Back then, he was a mysterious, frightening and brilliantly camp Severus Snape. Throughout the series he delivered some of the best lines; nobody else could make ‘Turn to page three-hundred-and-ninety-four’ sound so iconic. Nobody else could deliver such delicious pauses within sentences; ‘Mister Potter….our….new….celebrity.’
Nobody else could have moved us to tears so beautifully in The Deathly Hallows Part Two. He was absolutely perfect for the role, and it’s impossible to imagine anyone else being even half as good. The Harry Potter films have introduced younger generations to his brilliance, but he was so much more than just Severus Snape. (It breaks my heart that I’m having to write ‘was.’) I’ve been thinking a lot about his best performances, and it’s hard to narrow them down. Rickman was an actor that stood out in any film he was in, and could outclass even the most well-known Hollywood stars (Kevin Costner and Bruce Willis, I’m talking about you….).
Though he began on stage, (and frequently returned to theatre work throughout his career) Alan Rickman was also a master of the screen. I never thought he got enough credit for his sheer breadth of talent, as he was best known for his villainous roles. Certainly, he played villains perfectly, but his emotional range offered so much more. He was a legend to audiences across generations and deserves to be remembered as one of our country’s greatest actors.
RIP Alan Rickman: thank you for scaring us, for making us laugh and for breaking our hearts.