In the last year there have been a number of significant figures who have passed away. Some were very close to my heart as personalities and role models who shaped a large portion of my childhood. Some of these names even had a role in the man I am today. Names come to mind like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Robin Williams, The Original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, Wes Craven, Yvonne Craig (One of my earliest celebrity crushes from the Adam West Batman TV series), and Christopher Lee are just to name a few. This doesn’t mention the musical legends we lost. Ben E King, BB King, Scott Weiland, Lemmy, and most recently David Bowie.
There are a lot of heavy names listed above, it’s been a rough year for celebrity deaths. Today we add another name to the list, the one of a kind Alan Rickman.
It may strike you as odd that I choose now to write a memorial entry, anyone who knows me would probably suspect Roddy Piper, Christopher Lee, or Wes Craven are more expected names to provoke this kind of response. Well, I will not discredit those men, and above the others these were the big three that really got to me, Rickman is something different.
Alan Rickman is a respected name in the industry, and a multi-award winning actor. He is the kind of guy who carried himself with professionalism rivaling the biggest industry snobs, and yet never presented himself as anything but a man who enjoys the craft of acting. He was the kind of actor you would expect to see in critically acclaimed masterworks, and yet I find him in a Kevin Smith movie telling a scared woman that he is as “anatomically impaired as a ken doll.”
For me Rickman is a lot like Bowie. He was an artist I enjoyed watching, before realizing it was all the work of one man. I remember watching Die Hard as a kid and thinking how bad ass the villain was, then watching Robin Hood and loving the Sheriff. I even remember my first viewing of Dogma and thinking, “Holy shit, it’s THAT guy. he’s awesome.”
I discovered his name after watching An Evening With Kevin Smith where Smith goes on with an amusing story about how nervous he was having a “real” actor play in one of his films.
As an adult I can say with confidence that there are very few actors I enjoy watching more than Rickman. Even in Dogma he gave a stellar performance with such a ridiculous script. The scene where he explains how hard it was to be the angel to tell a young Jesus Christ about his family lineage is one of my favorite parts of the film.
I could even get through the Harry Potter films solely on my admiration of this man. Losing him so early into this year is a major hurdle I will need to get beyond. This year is supposed to be the year I take my ambition, wrestle it down, and see what I can make out it. Losing one of the most important creative muses is not how I wanted to begin.
Rickman has an extensive library of movies to rediscover so he’ll never be gone entirely. He was a master at his craft -I hope one day I can become half as skilled in my writing as he was to acting.
I hope to contribute to the immortalizing of this great man in my own way. As of this morning I am redesigning one of the major supporting characters in the Krugers story line. His name is going to become Rickman, and he’s going to have a very distinct British accent.
R.I.P Alan Rickman,
Thanks for everything sir.