All Harry Potter fans will agree: of the many, many actors who contributed to the adaptation of the books to the big screen over the course of eight films, no actor brought their character to life more effectively than Alan Rickman.
I had no idea the man was sick. And noitw he’s dead, at 69, the same age and cause of death as David Bowie. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a good week. At least, not for those who hate seeing people die.
A lot of the obituaries I’ve seen have cited Severus Snape as the predominant role in his career. It makes sense, given how beloved the books are combined with the fact that it’s the second-highest grossing film series in history.
But as complimentary as that is, I find it almost equally as insulting. In Rickman’s four-decade-long career, he played a whole host of diverse, multi-layered, complex characters.
He’s known for playing the antagonist. Aside from Snape, he is also remembered for playing Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis’s foe in the 1988 film Die Hard.
It was his trademark nasally drawl, and the way he consistently conveyed his characters’ subtle nuances to make them so unequivocally human, that always made him the most interesting man on the screen.
Snape, already the most sympathetic figure in the Harry Potter universe, just became a whole lot more somber.
Thank you, Alan Rickman, for lending your craft to the most important character in my favorite childhood books, and your dedication in making sure you got it right. I am forever grateful.
Given the news this week of Rickman’s and Bowie’s passing due to cancer, and the countless other lives that have been taken by the disease, one can’t help but become really, really mad.
And I remember what President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday, of his moonshot aspiration for America to become the first nation to cure cancer.
You know what? Let’s do it. Instead of using my taxpayer money to fund drone strikes in the Middle East, how about we filter it into the scientists and researchers who are willing to devote their lives to curing this heinous, unforgiving malady? I’ll gladly surrender whatever percentage of my paycheck that it takes to do that.
Members of ISIS and Al Qaeda are truly despicable people, but they’re not tearing thousands of families apart on a daily basis like cancer is. Even if it doesn’t happen in my lifetime, it’d please me to know we are devoting as much resources as we possibly can to stop this disease.
I’ll end this post, and this sad week, with a famous Harry Potter line that only fans of the books and movies will understand, to indicate how long Alan Rickman’s legacy will remain lodged in my memory.
After all this time?