“[He] must be a man of great worth and respectability.
Yes, he is the kindest and best of men.”
-Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Wow, what a week. First David Bowie on Sunday and now we have lost one of the best actors to the same dreaded disease.
Oh Alan Rickman, how I miss you so. We are not ready for you to be gone from us.
Alan Rickman was an outstanding actor, no matter what he played you loved him. Part was his looks:
His amazing voice:
And his ability to breathe an incredible amount of life into these roles, so much that they seemed so real.
So I decided to truly honor this great man, I’m going to countdown my top four favorite roles of his.
4) Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
I know a lot of people make fun of Kevin Costner, for his lack of accent:
But I always loved this film. And one of my main reasons were because of Rickman’s incredible portrayal of the Sheriff.
Rickman originally was courted twice to play this, but turned it down until they gave him full control of his character. And he does it so perfectly. Crazy, evil, ambitious, logical, and somehow hilarious.
Sheriff of Nottingham: Locksley. I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon.
Robin Hood: Then it begins.
Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?
Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it’s DULL, you twit. It’ll hurt more.
And being the awesomeness that he is, he went through 10 swords in that film. Just weren’t strong enough for him.
3) Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus from Galaxy Quest
This role is from the hilarious comedy and parody of Star Trek, Galaxy Quest. 18 years ago the TV show Galaxy Quest was the hottest thing on the TV. Since then, none of the actors have been able to find much other work, being forced to be their characters for conventions, commercials, etc. One day they are transported to a real alien ship by aliens who believe their show to be “historical documents” asking for their help in fighting their enemy. They are forced to work together to save these people, in a most hilarious way.
In this film Alan Rickman’s character Alexander Dane the Spockish Dr. Lazarus, is a brooding, melancholy, mess who is dissatisfied with the way his life and career have gone. Sort of like Arthur Conan Doyle hating Sherlock Holmes, Dane feels the same way about Dr. Lazarus. However, as this group has to really fight, Dane proves that he is just as herioc and amazing as his fictional counterpart.
[Quellek has been shot, and is dying. Alexander rushes to him]
Alexander Dane: Quellek? [sees Quellek’s wound] That’s not too bad. We’ll get you to the medical quarters, and you’ll be fine.
Quellek: It has been my greatest pleasure to serve with you. I have been blessed, Sir. I… I… I…
Alexander Dane: Don’t speak, Quellek.
Quellek: You’ll forgive my impertinence, Sir, but even though we have never before met, I have always considered you as a father to me.
Alexander Dane: Quellek… by Grabthar’s hammer… by the Suns of Worvan… you shall be… avenged.
A sad scene, but one of the sweetest. He hates that line, but says it to his biggest fan; knowing he would appreciate it.
For more on Galaxy Quest, go to Don’t Give Up
2) Professor Severus Snape from The Harry Potter Series
This is the one you are probably the most familiar with. In the Harry Potter Series, Rickman plays the crotchety Professor Snape. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for Snape and Draco Malfoy I never would have become a fan of the Harry Potter Series. And if Snape wasn’t played by Alan Rickman, nothing would have induced me to watch or read.
Snape is first portrayed as evil (as Harry suspects him) but in reality is one great, although tragic man. Hurt, abused, bullied and tormented as a youth, his genius unappreciated, the love of his life choosing a popular and way uncooler guy; he was drawn into the false inclusiveness of the Death Eaters. Accidentally putting into motion the death of his love, he turned his back on the Death Eaters and redeemed himself.
However, when a new threat emerges he not only helps Harry by protecting him; although anonymously and ungraciously by Harry, along with becoming a double agent to get Dumbledore his information.
Even more tragic, he is willing to take the place of Draco, protecting him and keeping him from going down a dark path he could not return; dying for him and his students.
[Snape blasts Lockhart off his feet in a practice duel]
For more on Professor Severus Snape, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen
For more on Harry Potter, go to The Fans and the Furious
1)Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility
My favorite Alan Rickman role, and the best Colonel Brandon. This was actually the first film I ever saw Alan Rickman in, and my introduction to Jane Austen. I thank/blame Rickman for starting my life long obsession for the author. Thank you.
Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. And even though she may not care for him, he still loves her from afar and wishes her well. When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.
Even though some complain that Rickman was too old for the role, I don’t care. No one could create a more caring, compassionate, brave, kind, strong, amazing character the way he did.
[after a reading of Spenser’s The Faerie Queen]
Marianne: Shall we continue tomorrow?
Colonel Brandon: No, for I must away.
Marianne: [Worried] Away? Where?
Colonel Brandon: [Reassuring and playful] That I cannot tell you. It is a secret.
Marianne: [Pauses. Looks away, then looks back] You will not stay away long?
[Colonel Brandon can hardly believe that she cares for him. Shakes head no with smile]
For more on Colonel Brandon, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen
So that’s my countdown to one great man. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you will be missed and left us too soon.
For more posts dedicated to a favorite artist/actor, go to Changes, Turn and Face the Strange