Thursday, January 14, 2016
Ode to Snape: Remembering the career of Alan Rickman
This lost hit me harder than David Bowie's passing. For many years now Alan Rickman has been among my favorite actors. No matter what movie he was in, be it a hit blockbuster or something independent, I have always enjoyed watching Alan Rickman's work. So to honor the fallen actor, here is my reflection on Alan Rickman and what I remembered from his career.
My first memory of Alan Rickman is likely one that many from my generation share. In 2001 author J.K Rowling's hit series would make its transition to cinematic format as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone made its way to theaters on November 16th. The film introduce me many actors who became favorites of mine; such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith...actually the whole ensemble now that I think about it. Anyways among this great cast was none other then Alan Rickman who played the notorious potion master: Severus Snape.
When it came to the matter of Rickman playing the Hogwarts Professor, I think it was a uphill battle. For a large portion of the Harry Potter series, Snape was character that I loved to hate. Rowling wrote Snape in such a way that I could not help but despise the character; that was until the final book but that is beside the point. In the case of Alan Rickman's portrayal, I never felt that sense of loathing. Maybe it was because I was prepared for it but I never felt that love to hate sensation that I got from reading about Snape in the novels. Does that mean Allan portrayed Snape in a poor light? Absolutely not. In the case of playing the professor I think that Alan Rickman's portrayal was very true to the character; but it was done in a way that only Rickman knew how to do. Within the eight films were several terrific scenes from Rickman; such as Snape confronting Serious Black in The Prisoner of Azkaban, training Harry in occlumency in The Order of the Phoenix and of course seeing Snape's backstory in The Deathly Hallows. These scenes showed the weight Snape could bring as a character while showing off Alan Rickman's range as an actor. While it may not have been a portrayal that I was expecting, I feel that there was no actor more suited to play Severus Snape than Alan Rickman.
There is still some of Rickman's work that I missed. I have not seen his performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham (at least not all of it); nor have I seen the actor's directed films. Even still Alan Rickman, to me, was an unforgettable actor. Whether he was playing Severus Snape or Marvin, Rickman always showed off his skills as an actor by bringing his own sense of charisma to the silver screen. There some films left in Rickman's career as he has supporting roles in films such as Eye in the Sky and Alice through the Looking Glass. Yet there is no denying that the movie world has lost a great talent this day as Mr.Rickman will be missed. All I can do now is take my hat off to Alan Rickman for all of his hard work and say this: thank you and godspeed