Alan Rickman: A poet of stage and screen


I spent an evening the other night re-watching Dogma and Galaxy Quest, looking over the amazing memories that Alan Rickman gave me throughout my childhood. I look at him in a special light, one that always has been there and I think still is. Most people who grew up with watching his movies feel a special connection to him. He ia like a secondary father figure to those who were fans of his work.

Rickman would pour his heart and soul into every role to manifest a pure unique experience into each film or play he was cast in.

I remember going to see “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when I was a wee young lad. The one character that stuck with me was Snape. Something about the overall demeanor of Rickman left a lasting impression on my young, imaginative heart.

I cannot fully explain the feeling of grief that overflowed my heart when I saw the news article on Jan. 14.  It did not hit me how influential Rickman was on my life until he actually passed. Every single movie, play and even voice role he was in resonated with me. His image would last throughout the years.

Though the characters he played may come off as harsh, they always had a certain likeableness to them. Even when he played Hans Gruber, you could not help but like the despicable nature of his character.

The role that I seem to find most human is Rickman’s character Harry in “Love Actually.” Although this film is something that is extremely emotional and deep in its character design, it explores the human nature and law of attraction in contemporary society.

Rickman’s role in the movie was so well performed and accepted that it even made me cry and I never do that. “Love Actually” is one of those movies that appeals to our sensitive side. It makes you understand what life is and what exactly love is about. In the words of Harry’s character, “Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool,” the thing that makes us human is the fact that we are imperfect, and he reminds me of that every time I watch the movie.

He was not only a famed character actor, but you can tell he also cared for everyone around him. For years Rickman carried the secret of what “always” meant in the Harry Potter Series. If you haven’t seen the films, this is the one thing that connects Snape to Harry’s mother Lily. “Always” is a reminder of their connection.

Rickman may be gone, but he left such a remarkable legacy in his work. I still cannot remember seeing a movie that Rickman was in that disappointed me. Rickman worked hard and it showed in every one of his roles.

In the words of Quellek in Galaxy Quest, “If you’ll forgive my impertinence sir, but even though we had never before met I always considered you a father to me.” So to you, Mr. Rickman, by Grabthar’s hammer and the suns of Worvan, you shall be…remembered.

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