I want to cry again today. Part of me knows it’s ridiculous because I never actually met Alan Rickman, but a larger part of me doesn’t care. Alan Rickman was one of the few actors whose work has interwoven so deeply into my childhood that removing him from my knowledge erases some of the best memories I have of growing up. Where would I be without his Hans Gruber or Colonel Brandon or Severus Snape?
When I sat down to write this yesterday, I was sad to the point of anger. I wanted everyone to feel how shredded and ill I felt inside over losing one of my favorite actors. But then I kept thinking: Would Alan Rickman really want that? I don’t know. I didn’t know him as a person. From what I’ve heard though, it seems unlikely. So, I’m not going to weep and gnash my teeth today. I’m going to take Dr. Seuss’s advice and smile because it happened– because I was able to see and enjoy the many characters, interviews, and quotes that Alan Rickman shared with the world.
These are ten of the things that have brought me joy and happiness in my life, and that I thank Alan Rickman for:
1. Galaxy Quest – I mean, it’s your typical Tim Allen movie, goofy and fun, but Alan Rickman stole the show! Every scene, he was perfect. Also, this gif speaks to me on a deep and personal level.
2. Colonel Brandon – His Colonel Brandon makes a girl realize what they are worth and how much they deserve in a relationship. He sets the bar so high for men, but it’s a worthy endeavor to achieve. His Brandon is one of the most romantic men in movies.
3. Epic Tea Time w/Alan Rickman – I’m not sure what the purpose was behind shooting this other than to get some excellent slo-mo shots. Still, no one flips a table like Alan Rickman. Also, that look at the end. The raised eyebrow. Awesome.
4. His voice – I walked in on members of my family watching A Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy. I was excited because I love Martin Freeman deeply. Yet, as we were watching it, suddenly I was excited for a whole new reason. I forgot that Alan Rickman did the voice of Marvin, the depressed space robot. The character itself was funny, but, man, Alan Rickman’s voice. Every time I hear it I perk up. It’s distinct and possibly the audio version of spun gold.
5. His humor – He’s intimidating AF, but clearly he has a brilliant sense of humor. I never saw him as full of himself. I always saw him, though not a gimmicky sort of guy, as a guy who knew how to be genuinely funny and even laugh at himself, which is a quality more people should have.
6. Blow Dry – Lesser known Alan Rickman film that is bizarre and wonderful and funny. My dad and I love this movie and will turn it on 100% of the time if we see that it’s playing on TV. It has Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman as rival hairstylists, which is all that you need in life. Watch it.
7. Trailers – I hate that after the next Alice in Wonderland movie there won’t ever be a trailer where I think, “Oh, I might see that because Alan Rickman’s in it. This trailer I chose because I distinctly remember going, “That’s Alan Rickman’s voice! What is this? I must see it!” He’s not even a main character. His name isn’t even in the trailer, not that it needs to be because everyone knows who he is.
8. Hans Gruber – I think Hans Gruber is one of the greatest movie villains of all times and you can’t tell me otherwise. Hans was classy AF. He was sneaky. You almost wanted him to win, but more than that you loved the sort of cat and mouse game that was played between him and John McClane.
9. Mostly how he dominates a scene – When he’s on screen, it’s super hard not to look at him to see what he’s doing or what he’s saying. His movements, how he times what he’s saying, and his expressions are superior to almost everyone I’ve seen him on screen with. There are a few exceptions such as Dame Maggie Smith and Emma Thompson, but mostly he was the most talented guy in the room.
10. Severus Snape – Yes, JK Rowling wrote the character and the book is always better. Except, Alan Rickman totally brought his A+ game in playing Severus Snape. The character is so complex and confusing and infuriating and in need of so much sympathy. Snape is that bit of popcorn shell that gets stuck against your tooth and pokes your gums. You can’t stop thinking about it, and you get a little obsessive about everything surrounding it. That’s Snape, and I firmly believe that Alan Rickman did the character justice. No one could have played him better. All of the good and the bad and the ugly, all of the nuances, Alan Rickman brought Snape to life in a way that I’ve never seen an actor bring a fictional book character to life. It was a blessing and a joy to watch.
Thank you, Alan Rickman, for sharing your talent with the world and for sharing characters that I’ve loved to watch. Thank you for being willing to be a large part of my childhood and being in the background of a lot of great memories I’ve had with family and friends. Even though I only knew you as an audience member knows an actor, I will miss you terribly. You were great. Thank you.