As a movie junkie, you can’t help but feel the tremendous loss the film industry has taken this week with the passing of The Goblin King a few days ago and now … Alan Rickman.
By now, the internet is probably littered with all things Alan Rickman with many of them paying a tribute to the many roles he’s played throughout the film industry. And while I debated whether I should add to the slew of posts popping up about him, I settled on “how can I not?” He’s played well-known characters, not only in the film industry, but characters from books-turned-to-movies and what kind of entertainment junkie would I be not to participate in perpetuating his memory?
Known mostly for his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, Alan Rickman has starred in so many roles stretching among so many genres it’s really hard for me to remember him as only Professor Severus Snape. I didn’t know him personally, but from the characters he’s portrayed I think of him as a easy-going, fun-loving, and above all, a witty kind of guy.
In remembrance of one of Hollywood’s favorites, here are the top five characters I will always remember Alan Rickman as:
Alexander Dane – Known to me as “the alien in Galaxy Quest,” I had to look up the character’s name. I watched this in high school, before the Harry Potter fandom (one of the first roles I’ve seen Rickman play) so when I saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I recognized Snape as “that alien guy in Galaxy Quest.” My take away from this character was that Alexander was the one star who was bored and over the whole movie star thing because of the four cast members he was the least loved or remembered. Of course, he turned out to have a big impact when he and his fellow cast members get zapped into space to save a real alien race who thinks they really are space heroes. Galaxy Quest had me laughing and really enjoying the comical situations the actors found themselves in.
And because of this character, Alan Rickman will be remembered as being a sarcastic and witty kind of guy.
Professor Severus Snape – You can’t mention Rickman’s career without mentioning the Harry Potter franchise. He played such an excellent Snape. Every book junkie creates an image of the characters they are reading about in their mind’s eye and Alan Rickman is Severus. In what is probably the most duplicitous modern character I’ve read about, Severus Snape was the most resourceful and the sharpest character in the Harry Potter world, in my humble opinion. He fooled the Dark Lord by making Voldermort think he was his loyal servant. He fooled the rest of Hogwarts faculty by making them question his loyalties, enough to make the Dark Lord and his followers believe he is on their side and enough to get the faculty to semi-trust him. It was … epic. Alan Rickman nailed it.
And because of this character, Alan Rickman will always be Severus Snape. Period.
Colonel Brandon – Having watched Sense and Sensibility after watching the first few Harry Potter movies, it was nice to see Rickman in this kind of role, even if he starred in this film prior to the franchise. The reserved Colonel who keeps mostly to himself and isn’t really superfluous with his affections yet falls deeply in love with free-spirited Marianne who is quite the opposite from him. He’s not the kind of guy who will kiss you in public none the less hold you in public, but he’ll always carry your umbrella, be sure to buy all your favorite books, and will find you even though you really don’t want to be found. And you could see that portrayal through Rickman. He brought out the human feelings of book-Colonel Brandon to the screen and after watching this movie I had a renewed determination to finish the book (um, I’m still trying to finish it, but let’s not lose focus here, this was a good movie and Rickman did such a good job!).
Hans Gruber – All Die Hard fans will have to agree with me when I say he was one of the best bad guys. Since I’m a huge fan of the Die Hard franchise, I can’t do a tribute to Alan Rickman without mentioning this role. Hans was the bad guy you had no problem with hating, and loving at the same time if only for how calm and collected his character seems. “Let’s pretend to be terrorist so no one will notice the millions of dollars we’re going to steal,” no problem. Throughout the movie Gruber is mostly calm and collected even though McClane is pushing all the right buttons. Eventually Gruber looses his cool and plummets to death upon a car and in movie-cliche fashion, the car has an alarm that blares upon impact. Epic.
Metatron, The Voice of God – I enjoyed this movie probably more than I should have, but what I really liked about this movie was The Voice of God with his introductory scene being the most memorable of all his appearances in the movie. And really, you can appreciate someone who can drink but not drink and yet poke fun at themselves, sarcastically of course, because of it, right? It’s been a while since I watched this movie, but this character, if nothing, else is what I think about when I hear Dogma. And I have to admit, I watched this movie after watching some of the Harry Potter movies, but this–The Voice of God–is the first role that pops into my mind when I think of all the work Alan Rickman has done. And it may not be the most classiest role he’s ever played, but it showed the humorous side of him.
And because of this character, Alan Rickman will be remembered as a fun-loving, has a wicked sense of humor, kind of guy.
Thank you, Alan Rickman, for leaving your mark on the film industry and giving us such memorable characters in which to remember you by.
You will be missed.
(Note: Understanding that ode usually means a lyrical tribute in the structure of a poem or song, and in the case of classical odes several parts, I am using ode to convey the intent or spirit in which an ode is usually written which is to praise or glorify an event or an individual)