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The Alan Rickman Bio

The Alan Rickman Review –

by Nate Lee


The HARRY Potter Series

The beloved series has shown the best of over two dozen of Britain's finest actors, from Gary Oldman to Emma Thompson, from Maggie Smith to Ralph Fiennes. Still, though, the face you waited for and portrayal you remember is Alan Rickman's. It's often the case where the villain is the most interesting character, and up until the last book, Snape will have taken the prize, even over "He Who Must Not Be Named." "Love, Actually" is brilliant, with Rickman one of many contributors.
Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Bottle Shock (Steven Spurrier, who inadvertently brought fame to California wines)
Galaxy Quest (the complaining, jealous Spock rip-off)
Quigley Down Under (Australian cattle baron out to get Tom Selleck)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (a merchant and father of Rachel Hurd Wood)
Truly, Madly, Deeply (ghost lover of Juliet Stevenson)
Close My Eyes (odd man out in a love triangle involving incest)
Rasputin (Title role as the lustful, mad monk)
All of the Harry Potter films (Severus Snape)
Dogma (a grumpy angel)
Die Hard (the bad guy, Hans Gruber, opposite Bruce Willis)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a neurotic robot)
Love Actually (husband of Emma Thompson, in superb ensemble piece)
Michael Collins (Eamon De Valera, leader of Irish revolt in 1916)
Robin Hood (Sheriff of Nottingham, opposite Kevin Costner)
Sense and Sensibility (Col. Brandon, still in love with Kate Winslet's Marianne)
Sweeney Todd (Judge Turpin)
Bob Roberts
The Real Alan Rickman:
A stage actor who won a Tony for his portrayal of Valmont in "Dangerous Liaisons," Rickman relishes his personae non gratae, despite having tripped in to a lover's role once or twice. Like most stage actors, Rickman relishes the bigger and/or over the top characters. Certainly, like Snape, there is a great guy lurking in there somewhere.
Acting Style:
The unlikeable snob. Rickman's odd face with odder expressions, an oily British tone that is ipso facto condescending, and despicable mannerisms: even when he's not the bad guy, he's the bad guy (Galaxy Quest, Bottle Shock, Dogma). He's found his niche and seems happy playing guys you'd like to spit on. Ironically, the sine qua non of such creatures is Severus Snape, and Rickman is barely recognizable in it (probably for the best, since he'll want a career after the seventh episodes are out).
Bits and Quirks:
A variety of quite unpleasant scrunches and winces, as if he's just smelled something dreadful. Many of the bits are verbal: biting down on words or slurring them out; incredibly long pauses where you don't expect them; a strange mumble. Looking down his nose. Talking out of the side of his mouth, or a barely moving mouth, with a stiff bearing, particularly the head.
Great Scenes:
Bottle Shock

> The final smile
> The conversations with Dennis Farina in his shop
> The wine-tasting montage in California
> Dividing up the bottles at the airport
> The wine-judging

Nobel Son

> Being kidnapped
> The ending, with the new student
> The dinner table with the bad guys

Sweeney Todd

> The discovery in the barber chair of Johanna's intended
> The overtures with Johanna
> Sending Johanna away


> Appearing before Linda Fiortino and getting doused from a fire extinguisher

Die Hard

> Making the entrance
> The elevator
> The final fall

Harry Potter

> Opening speech on potions
> Scene with Dumbledore in the tower
> Revelation of "Half-Blood Prince" identity
> Working with Harry on mind-blocking
> "You don't want me as an enemy" speech with Quirrell
> Most of his confrontations with Harry
> Marching into the castle, and the conference with Voldemort, in Episode 7
> The unbreakable vow at the beginning of Episode 6

Go to the... Alan Rickman Bio