Man, 2016 is off to a really devastating start. We began the week mourning David Bowie and are ending the week saying goodbye to actor Alan Rickman. It’s getting so I’m afraid when I go online every morning what the next big blow is going to be.
While I can easily argue that Bowie was a much more transformative figure in the world of pop culture, I am far more devastated by the news of Rickman’s passing. I was a much more devoted fan of his and he just made absolutely everything that he was in better just by its association with him. He have been known to millions primarily from his role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movie franchise, but I was a fan of his long before he became a professor at Hogwarts (confession – I read all of the Harry Potter books, but never got around to seeing all of the movies. I’m a moderate, at best, Harry Potter fan). While I certainly enjoyed his work as Snape, to me he will always be Hans Gruber from Die Hard (perhaps one of the greatest movie villains all time) and Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility (overall, my favorite adaptation of Jane Austen’s work). It was Alan Rickman’s presence alone that convinced me to finally give Love Actually a shot and while I was underwhelmed with the movie overall, I definitely enjoyed his scenes the most of the film. Rickman just had a presence and it was hard to ignore his flawless “double bass” voice. As the tribute to him have poured in over the last 24 hours, it gives me some solace that he was in reality the good man that I always assumed him to be – slightly intimidating on the surface, but a kind and loving man underneath it all. He clearly had a huge impact on the young actors that he worked with on the Harry Potter movies and anyone that maintains a decades-long friendship with the likes of Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet is someone that I would have liked to known. I must have watched his last appearance of The Tonight Show a dozen times:
I’m just so sad that he’s gone; I’ve had A Little Bit of Chaos, one of his last films, sitting on my DVR for weeks. I just haven’t gotten around to it now that I’m in the throes of prep for my annual Oscar Death Race, but I may have to carve out a little time to enjoy it this weekend and reflect on all the great performances that Alan Rickman gifted us with over the years. He was taken from us far too soon. It’s been a banner week for cancer, less so for humanity.