There are a lot of good actors out there, who come across your TV or movie screen as recognizably someone you enjoy watching, and recognizably themselves. But there are great actors who seem to inhabit every role they take on, and when you discover that that’s who it was, you’re astounded. Alan Rickman was one of the great actors. Every role he played, he WAS a different person. He wasn’t just PLAYING a different person. And we’re now, as collective group, worse for his death. So now, I say Goodbye, Alan Rickman.
When art touches the every day, we are forever connected. The heart resonates. The mind adventures. The soul learns. The invisible thread joins together those spoken into, regardless of age, gender, background, religion, philosophy, heritage. That thread unites and changes,for the better, part of who we are. Death wreaks havoc, because these strangers have entered our bright and dark places. Pushed us. Taught us. Caused our laughter and tears. They rouse emotion and action. Sometimes even find friends for us through common interests. They’re always there, whether by book, music,film, picture, painting…simply present when we need them. I’m thankful for the storytellers,musicians,artists, actors, authors. You are a necessity. Thank you. #RIPAlanRickman
– Desirre Andrews
He wasn’t a very public person, unlike many actors – he had a Twitter account, but had made a total of 2 tweets, one in 2009 and one in 2011. We didn’t learn a lot about his private life – he had married just a couple of years ago, to the woman he had known and lived with for nearly 50 years, Rima Horton. But in not revealing much about his personal life, we were all the more free to see the characters he played, rather than Alan Rickman playing Severus Snape. Or Hans Gruber. Or Alexander Dane, or the Sheriff of Nottingham. In that, he was the rare star who preferred to let their work speak louder than they did themselves. Sometimes we only knew it was him by that voice – that beautiful, measured baritone.
His body of work was extensive and varied – Snape, of course, a role he seemed born to play (Rickman was who JK Rowling had in mind as she wrote the character); various animation voice overs; villains and heroes. One of my favorites was in Galaxy Quest, as a serious actor caught up in a role requiring a demeaning latex headpiece – he was hilariously serious, working very hard to stay in a character he had no respect for.
It’s been a hard week for iconic, one-of-a-kind performers, people who were driven by love of their craft rather than love of fame and money, with the passing of Rickman and David Bowie earlier this week. But I’d prefer to celebrate the fact that we were the very lucky recipients of their talent and abilities, rather than mourn that they’re gone.
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