Thursday, January 14, 2016

We Will Remember Alan Rickman, Always

From his work in theatre to the variety of complex roles he portrayed in film and television, Alan Rickman was an exemplary accomplished actor and performer.

Some may remember him for his work on the stage doling out Shakespeare's brilliant words.

Some may recount him from his brilliant career in cinema as the merciless madmen in Die Hard, as the gentlemanly and grave Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility, or the bitter sci-fi icon Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest.

A great many of us will cherish his complex portrayal of Harry Potter's mysterious and bitter potions professor Severus Snape.

From the first film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Rickman grabbed our attention. With one look shared between Snape to the young Harry Potter, we instinctively knew there was more to the Slytherin headmaster than what we assumed. His physicality was smooth as his cape swiped across the floor with every turn in and out of a room or down a long Hogwarts corridor. A deep bass voice hooked us on his every word, and literally gave every sentence great pause. There's no forgetting the first time you saw Snape and how you looked forward to his appearances over the series's eight-film franchise.

"He lives a solitary kind of existence. Mysterious. He’s very focused. Eventually you get to find out who he is. Innocence. Lost. Resentful. It’s been a complete privilege." - Alan Rickman
The book's Severus Snape has and will always spark debates about our feelings towards him and his motivations for wanting to protect The Chosen One. Was he wholeheartedly bad? How problematic were his intentions because of his love for Lily Potter? No matter what we felt about Snape - loved-to-hate or hated him - we all could agree that Rickman' portrayal of Snape was brilliant. 

Throughout the films the layers to his character were delicately revealed in every installment. His booming voice filled you with dread or suspicion. Yet there was an intrigue with how and why he was working alongside both Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort for the good of the entire wizarding world. No matter how rigid his edges were, he became a cherished and memorable face among all of the familiar faces that welcomed us back to Hogwarts.

Nearly a decade later with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Snape's ultimate connection to The Boy Who Lived connected like a majestic puzzle. The adapted sequence of Snape's Memories from the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows took fan's breath away. Rickman's performance is the true unveiling of a decade's worth of nuance; a stunning portrayal of a master of his craft creating a legendary role: inspiring and tragic, mysterious and vulnerable.

When the world loses an actor, we bear a sense of loss from their talent to take us to another world and give complexity to fictional characters; to bring people who exist on the page to life on-screen. It's with my heartfelt condolences that we say farewell to a great legend and the best of regards to his loved ones, both professionally and personally. For 2016 and beyond, Rickman will be one among many - we will remember him, always.

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