Everyone raise your wands for the death of a beloved actor and human being.
Normally, I don’t cry for celebrity deaths. I shed a few tears for my most beloved musicians, poets/authors, or actors, but I never cry. This morning, I found this news out 10 minutes before my psychology class began, and it took all of my strength not to break down bawling. I had my mother and many of my friends text me and ask me if I was okay, and I couldn’t answer. I still can’t. Alan Rickman is, was and will continue to be my favorite actor of all time. He made me fall in love with the roles he played, mainly one of Severus Tobias Snape. When I first read the Harry Potter books, I disliked Snape, but then grew to like him around the 3rd book. It wasn’t until I saw Alan Rickman portray him in Philosopher’s Stone that I fell in love. When you are a child, there is that one person that makes you realize feelings or a certain admiration for a movie or book character, and Severus Snape was mine. JK Rowlings creation of Severus was genius, but it was Alan Rickman who made me far too attached to the character. I still spend a good 15 minutes prior to Severus’s death in Pt. 2 of Deathly Hallows crying because my beloved character would soon pass. I found and discovered myself in Severus Snape and his life experiences and dedication. Because of Alan Rickman’s portrayal, I found myself wishing Severus Snape could be a real person, even to this day I still wish that. Alan Rickman is more than just Severus Snape, he is also a Shakespearean, Le Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, a collaborator with Tim Burton in Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland, King Louis XIV in A Little Chaos. There are so many other roles that he portrayed but there is something that was taken from these roles. Rickman gained the title as a “villain actor” which he disliked. He once said “I don’t see any of [my roles] as one word. It doesn’t matter what I’m playing: it’s not one word, and I think any actor would say the same.” He was also a director and writer of the one-woman play My Name is Rachel Corrie. Alan Rickman never grew tired of his life on the stage as he said, “Life has shifting horizons so you might as well keep swimming.”
Alan Rickman gave me my love of theatre and the arts at a young age and I admired his work as well as the small details of a person that he let out to the public. Obviously, I do not know the man, let me state that, but I admire and respect him as an actor, director, writer, and person in general. Without him, I never would have had an interest in acting or the musical theatre.
Today, I broke down once I came to my dorm room and just started absolutely bawling. In fact, I’m still crying as I type this right now. It may seem ridiculous to some people, but when someone who has helped you realize a passion has passed away, it’s a similar feeling to being stabbed honestly.
Obviously, the cast of Harry Potter is sharing their grief and loss in many ways. JK Rowling tweeted out this morning “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man. — My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.”
Daniel Radcliffe posted
Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say “if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day”.
People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner(or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.
Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands. It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.