Alan Rickman was in my mind one of the most brilliant actors to have ever performed on stage or in film. I first saw him as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and he was fantastic as a villain that paved his way to such greatness.
No one could play villainy quite like Alan. I later watched the first Die Hard and again I was totally blown away by how calm, slow speech could appear so terrifying. Everything about him in that film has stayed with me and it is that performance that enhances true villainy to me. It isn’t random psycho dramas where you laugh maniacally and other rather cliché actions. No, it was the calm, methodical, sadistic way he acted, and the smoothness of his movements and then that voice. The chilling aspect of that voice when playing evil sent shivers down my spine.
But it was the role of Severus Snape that epitomised him as great to me. Partly because of my childhood was based in those books and in those films that I created a connection that I haven’t developed with anything else save possibly Lord of the Rings (Ian, don’t you dare be next), but also the fact that after seeing him on the screen, I started to see him in the books as well. That is how well he portrayed a character that everyone believed they have worked out up until those last few chapters of that final book.
I too believed in the evil of Severus Snape and it was partly down to how cold and how well Alan played Snape in the films. But it was that moment when the truth is revealed that my entire idea of that character changed. I later discovered that Alan knew in some part what was going to occur and the fact that he knew and that he still played that character so well that even I was still convinced when watching the film on screen gives testament to his skill.
Alan brought Snape to the screen and I can thin of no other actor who could have played that role any better. In fact it feels wrong of me to even try and visualise another actor in that role. Goodbye Alan and thank you for allowing me to live when you were alive.