I was just packing up at work last evening when I came across this horrible piece of news on Facebook.
Alan Rickman had passed away after battling cancer.
At first, I thought it was a hoax. A stupid prank that would soon be revealed to be false. However, that was not to be.
Alan Rickman, the legendary actor, with the “most perfect voice in the world,” had truly left this world.
You know how people sometimes feel so devastated that they want to curl up in a ball and just cry for hours? When I heard this news, that’s exactly what I wanted to do. The only thing that stopped me from shedding a tear was the fact that I was at my workplace. I went through every possible website and social network to find out more on this. And with every story that confirmed this tragedy, my heart broke a little more each time.
One of the first characters that truly left an impression and made me feel strongly towards them from the start, was Severus Snape from Harry Potter. I loved to hate him in books 1 -6 and then, after reading the last book, couldn’t help but fall in love with this severely misunderstood character who was the epitome of complexity and despondency.
When I first saw Philosopher’s Stone, the only actor I could easily imagine being like the character they were playing, was Alan Rickman. With his dark, euphonious voice, brooding face and formidable personality, Alan breathed life into Snape in a manner that no other actor could possibly do. I only had to see one scene with him as Snape, and I was able to picture him as the character, for all the times I read the books afterwards.
In the last movie, Alan Rickman’s performance as Snape went to a whole new level of brilliance. His death scene, and the way he delivered lines like, “you have your mother’s eyes,” and “after all this time? Always..” caused millions of fans like me, to reach for their tissues in order to stop the out-pour of tears that just wouldn’t stop at the revelation that Snape wasn’t a bad guy after all.
That was the moment in the movie, when Snape made me fall in love with the actor Alan Rickman.
I had only ever seen Alan in Love Actually and the Harry Potter movies before. But after seeing Deathly Hallows, I literally watched any Alan Rickman movie that I could get my hands on, starting with Robin Hood, Die Hard, Rasputin, Truly Madly Deeply, Sense & Sensibility, Blow Dry, The Search for John Gissing, Snow Cake and The Song of Lunch.
I loved him as Hans Gruber when he, so coolly swore “Yippee ki yay Motherfucker” to Bruce Willis in Die Hard, and enjoyed his absurd threats of “cutting Robin Hood’s heart out with a spoon” as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. But I fell head over heels in love with him after watching him sing and romance Juliet Stevenson in Truly, Madly, Deeply, as the ghost of Jamie the cellist. And this love was only reinforced further after watching him in Sense & Sensibility. The beauty of Alan’s acting prowess was that, he could use his same talents and unique traits to marvelously play roles that were so diverse, that they literally ranged from one extreme to another.
He brought an element of eccentricity and uniqueness to each of his characters, making them unforgettable in the minds of those who’ve seen the films. And his voice…His magical voice could charm, scare and soothe you at the same time. With his death, the theater and film industries have lost one of their most celebrated artists, who personified the British acting class for me and many others from all around the world. With his loss, I’ve lost that part of my childhood which was defined by Harry Potter and all the characters in that story, including and especially Severus Snape, forever.
As I left from work after getting this terrible news yesterday, I had to restrain myself from breaking down in public, before I could reach home and react properly. Once at home, I didn’t care if my parents thought I was acting excessively weird by crying over someone whom I didn’t even know personally, I broke down and shed a few tears for Alan, and for that part of my teenage when I idolized him for playing one of my favourite characters, and for being a super-actor and super-human being in general.
Thank you Alan Rickman, for entertaining me, and making me laugh, scream, hate, cry, and love. Thank you for being one of the people who gave wings to my imagination. Finally, thank you for existing, and sharing your great self with the world.
Goodbye, Hans Gruber, Jamie, Grigori Rasputin, Col. Brandon, Sheriff of Nottingham, Judge Turpin, John Gissing, Alex Hughes, Phil Allen, Harry, and the most beloved Half-Blood Prince.
I will be your fan, ALWAYS.