For the past week I’ve been dealing with an odd feeling. A sense of, almost, overwhelming, loss & depression that I can’t really explain well. It pervades my waking moments, & has even interrupted my sleep a couple of times.
It’s the loss of Alan Rickman.
I know, we’ve lost so many idols in just this last week. Bowie, Lemmy from Motorhead, and, just yesterday, Dan Haggerty, who played Grizzly Adams, a much – beloved show from my childhood.
But, for me, those other losses are faint, far away & muted by the fact that 1) I’ve never met them, 2) while they had an impact on my life, it just wasn’t as much as some others.
No, I’ve never met Alan Rickman either.
But, the effect he had on my life was much more profound than even I knew.
I first noticed him in, of course, Die Hard, as the villainous Hans Gruber. With his rich, accented bass voice, he made me find a guilty pleasure in watching him spar verbally with Bruce Willis on screen.
In fact, my favorite lines from that movie are pretty much just him.
Hans:”Schiess dem fenster, ”
Other bad guy: “Hunh?”
Hans: “Schiess dem fenster! ”
Other bad guy: *puzzled look…*
Hans: “SHOOT. THE. GLASS!”
He’s pretty much the reason I watched Die Hard, after that first viewing so long ago. There was something – charismatic- about the way he played that character.
And, since learning of Alan ‘ s death, I’ve been going back to find all my favorite movies of his, rewatching them. And finding new movies I never knew about, and watching those too, simply to witness again the simple brilliance of his acting.
Yes, of course, there’s the Harry Potter series. I haven’t marathoned it yet, but I will tonight, since I don’t have to babysit.
But, in no particular order… here are my personal favorites.
Blow Dry- both Alan Rickman AND Bill Nye? A British haircutting competition? Are you kidding me? Of COURSE.
Sense and Sensibility – He might not have played the heartthrob, he didn’t even have a major role, but the character he played had depth, heart, & a very quiet core of immovable strength. I’d have chosen him, just like Kate Winslet finally did toward the end.
Galaxy Quest- Brilliant, funny, tongue-in-cheek. By Grapthar’s hammer, yes.
Love Actually- Yeah, he played a weak-willed, cheating husband in this one…but I still see the redeeming qualities. I’d have taken him back, & I don’t forgive cheaters.
CBGB- I just watched this last night on Netflix. I’d never even heard of it, but when I searched his name to find movies of his, there it was. And it was riveting & funny. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley ) was in it too, & that was even funnier.
Sweeney Todd- As evil as they come, himself played Judge Turpin in this musical gore – fest with Johnny Depp. And, he was oily, gruesome, cruel, & still compelling. Brilliant. Oh, and yes, he sings!
And, of course, last but nowhere near least…
Harry Potter- Professor Snape. So many things could be said, and it would never fully describe this character. Rickman himself said that he didn’t like talking about or trying to explain HP, because he felt it took away from the individual experience, & he wouldn’t be the person who took the imagination out of it for the kids.
So many more movies I need to see, before I come close to assuaging the sadness I feel at his loss.
I still don’t know why this loss has hit me so hard. It’s confusing, but I’m going to stop analyzing it.
Because I’m going to simply honor his life- by honoring his work.
And, one of these days…It won’t hurt as much as it does right now.