I walked into work this morning to be told that Alan Rickman was taken by cancer… In fact, the news had only just been released minutes before I walked into the office.
To say that I was stunned is a bit of an understatement. Besides the fact that he’s one of my wife’s favorites, he was an actor I could appreciate for his breadth of roles – and vocal range. Yes, he was English, but he didn’t always sound English… Remember Die Hard, where he’s trading barbs with Willis and sounds distinctly American. Or, and I always chuckle at this one, in Prince of Theives, when he’s got Costner on the ropes, draws the sword and drops into a Southern/Texas twang to say “Reckonize this?” (Since recognizing that shift, I’ve wondered if that was a degree of sarcasm at how un-English Costner’s Robin Hood sounded.)
To speak of range – and I’ll sell this woefully short, unfortunately – impressive isn’t even the right word. He could play a wonderful villain (Die Hard, Prince of Thieves, Sweeny Todd), a perceived villain (Harry Potter’s Snape), but he could do comedy (Marvin in Hitchhiker’s Guide, Metatron in Dogma, Galaxy Quest) and lead performances – Blow Dry and the BBC production of Song of Lunch come to mind [seriously – go watch either/both of those. They are SO not Snape or Gruber). And I’ve only referenced the roles that I know well.
I’m sad that the world has lost another talented artist, and to cancer, no less.
Time to check Netflix for a marathon.