I am sat in an Ealing pub and a sad melancholy has descended. Today one of my heros and quite frankly one of the sexiest men on the planet (his voice alone can turn my knees to jelly) has left us; Alan Rickman.
When these talented people be it musicians, artists or actors touch us and play important parts in our lives, wedding songs, first date films, first theatre trips, Song that healed our hearts, films that made us weep or just brought literature to life on film it is inevitable that when their time on earth comes to an end it effects us deeply as if part of us dies with them and our memories are touched more deeply.
I remember the first time that Alan came to my attention it was in his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Although I maybe quiet biased, it was Alan and Bryan Addams that saved that film (seriously an average American actor playing a British icon?!) Rickman owned that film. And as for maid marian seriously girl you needed your brains testing!
The role that he stole my heart was Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Dashing, shy masculine and devilishly handsome in period dress. Kate Winslet you are a very lucky lady to have worked that closely with him. The film was written by the woman I regard as his on screen wife Emma Thompson.
Thompson and Rickman have worked a lot together, Sense and Sensibility, Harry potter, song for lunch, Judas Kiss and love actually all come to mind.
I loved that Alan disliked the fact that the “villains” he played were to him not in fact evil or bad but just complex portrays of humanity, humanity with flaws. Snape from Harry Potter and Harry from Love actually being two such characters that on the surface perceived as the baddies but intact they are just complex humanity, struggling to make sense of life like the rest of us.
Memorable moments on film, the end of Gambit, arriving as an Angel in Dogma, that scene at the beginning of Nobel Son (I have no shame) he also made aliens sexy in Galaxy Quest.
For a new generation he brought Professor Severus Snape to life in the Harry Potter film franchise, in a caring and diligent way showing the good and bad of the character.
Films I recommend that may not have been as well known as Robin Hood or Harry Potter are
Snowcake a beautiful film about autism also staring Sigourney Weaver.
In The Bulter, Rickman plays Regan (the transformation is scary).
Michael Colins set in the struggle for it independence in the first half of 20th century. Rickman plays Eamon de Valera.
Something the Lord made, 1930s America Rickman plays Dr Alfred Balock who specialises in research in infant heart disease. His assistant Vivian Thomas is invaluble to his research but because he is an african american only Balock can be recognised for the work that they have done. A true story brought to life. Write up here
Bottleshock another true story of how new world wines (namely US wine) broke the european market. (the KFC scene Fabulous)
Blowdry fabulous hilarious and moving film (Rickman as a hairdresser with a northern accent is worth it full stop)
I could go on …. Alan Rickman for me was not recognised enough in his life time for his talent as an actor.
Thank you for the times I have needed to be cheered up. Thank you for bring a smile to my face with those hazel eyes and amazing voice, thank you for bring characters alive. May you rest in peace with the angels.