FRC Icon #6 – Alan Rickman
Its Icon day, today is the turn of Alan Rickman the actor that FRC love but find it hard to remember his name. Maybe this post will help.
The suave British actor most famously recognised as the sinister Professor Snape from the Harry Potter franchise, Alan Rickman also enjoyed a highly distinguished stage career with the Royal ShakeSpeare Company (RSC) and doaens of truly beautiful roles in Hollywood films. Rickman was labeled as Hollywoods favourite villain after his appearence as Hans Gruber in the definitive action film Die Hard in 1988. He also got acclaim for his part as the schemeing Shriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves from 1991. However his career hasn’t be solely the nasty bad guys. This Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award winner has been seen in such a wide range of films from the romantic Sense and Sensibility to a funny comic turn in the crazy Galaxy Quest in 1999. The lanky Brit with a charming and exquisite voice has become a firm favourite here in the UK, but has also made him a household name over the pond in USA.
Born on 21st Feburary 1946, in Hammersmith, London, Rickman was part of a wroking class family. Displaying a real talent for art as a small child, Rickman earned a scholarship to a private school that enabled him a position to the Chelsea School of Art and Design. In the swinging 1960s in London he enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer. He even co-founded his own design company. But eventually his yearning to become an actor was too much and he enroled into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1972. He studied here for two years, during which time he managed to achieve a number of dramatic prizes. Rickman’s subsequent stage career took off rather quickly, and during the remainder of the 1970s, he appeared with The Royal Shakespeare Company in such productions as “The Tempest” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” and as Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet” (1979). He expanded his repertoire with appearances all over the UK in a range of pieces, from Chekov’s “The Seagull” to the screwball comedy “The Philadelphia Story.” He landed British TV roles in the terrifying miniseries “Therese Raquin” (BBC, 1981) and the amusing “Barchester Chronicles” (BBC, 1984), then returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company in another string of productions including “Mephisto” and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” earning acclaim as the elegant, heartless seducer Le Vicomte de Valmont. From a successful run on London’s West End, the production went to Broadway in 1987 where Rickman was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.
The seasoned baordwalker had almost zero screen experience when he was cast in the big budget hit Die Hard in 1988. His memorable film Debut as the vicious Hans Gruber who taunts John McLane as he tries to free his kidnapped wife in a L.A High rise really got him noticed in Hollywood as well as back home in UK. So impressive was his villainy that her earned roles in ‘The January Man’ and ‘Quigley Down Under’ (89 and 90 respectively). Rickman virtually stole the entire show off Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His scenery tearing Sheriff of Nottingham was a true delight to behold, winning a BAFTA in the process. After a few more low budget performances Rickman decided to take some time off from his screen career and get back to his roots putting in performances on the stage of Hamlet and Tango at the End of Winter.
His years in the theater made Rickman an excellent casting choice for the Irish film “An Awfully Big Adventure” (1995), in which he starred as an actor in a ramshackle repertory theater company. That same year, he successfully reinvented himself as a romantic lead, playing Kate Winslet’s dark, smoldering suitor in the Emma Thompson-scripted and Ang Lee-directed “Sense and Sensibility” (1995).
Onscreen, anyway, Rickman devoted the year 1999 to comedy; first as Metaron, an angel who appears inside a pillar of fire only to be doused with a fire extinguisher in “Dogma” (1999), writer-director Kevin Smith’s comedic pillorying of religious doctrine. Followed up by Galaxy Quest, a spoof on the mad world of star trek and its fans.
In 2001 he took a part while relatively small it made him an icon with many young book worms and movie goers, Professor Snape. The sulking teacher of Hogwarts really took Rickman’s career to another level. With the films that followed he has become a true part of Hollywood history and a great icon of the screen.
Bruce Willis stars as New York City Detective John McClane, newly arrived in Los Angeles to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia). But as McClane waits for his wife’s office party to break-up, terrorists seize control of the building. While the terrorist leader, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his savage henchman (Alexander Godunov) round up hostages, McClane slips away unnoticed. Armed with only a service revolver and his wits. McClane launches his own one-man war. A crackling thriller from beginning to end, Die Hard explodes with heartstopping suspense.
Alan Rickman is so immense and cool in this film. Surrounded by bumbling idiots, a truly scary villain.
Truly, Madly, Deeply
Described as the thinking person’s ‘Ghost’, Truly Madly Deeply is a wonderfully entertaining romantic comedy, sparkling with supernatural charm!
Ever since her lover Jamie died, Nina has longed for him to be back in her life. Then one lonely evening, that seemingly impossible wish comes true when Jamie’s ghost magically appears and moves back into her flat.
Nina finds happiness once again, until she begins to realise that living with a ghost is going to be tougher than she ever imagined.
This will make you cry. It did me, in fact I am welling up now!!
Robin Hood : Prince of Thieves
It was a time of tyrants: the only way to uphold the truth was to break the law. He fought for the good of all men and for the love of just one woman.
Kevin Costner brings the epic hero Robin Hood to life in a film filled with pageantry, intrigue, action and romance. With an outstanding cast, record-breaking theme song and film production on a sweeping scale, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has become a legend in its own right.
Kevin Who? I don’t remember anything about this film except the amazing performance by Mr Rickman. I just wish they had done the whole film on him!!
All the Harry Potter films…
I can’t really write much here for a plot summary as there are like 1400 films or something!! But Rickmans role in these films is marvelous. He essayed the skulking, seemingly malevolent Professor Severus Snape in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001). He repeated the scene-stealing role the following year in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002). He has continued in the same vein with each of the following films, getting darker and darker as the story comes to its conclusion.
Searching for a way back from everlasting exile, renegade fallen angels Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) attempt to turn the entire cosmological system on its head – unless an unlikely horde of mass can stop them.
Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), the heroine of Dogma is a woman convinced her prayers have not been answered when, out of nowhere, a heralding angel appears in her bedroom and declares her the potential saviour of humanity. Setting off on an extraordinary journey, Bethany meets a host of heavenly and hellish characters, including the celestial messenger Metatron (Alan Rickman), an apostle with a 2,000 year old grudge (Chris Rock), hot-headed demon Azrael (Jason Lee) and heavenly muse Serendipity (Salma Hayek).
In Kevin Smith’s comic fantasia, angels, demons, apostles and prophets (of a sort) walk among the cynics and innocents of the Earth and battle it out for the fate of humankind.
Rickman starred here as Metaron, an angel who appears inside a pillar of fire only to be doused with a fire extinguisher. Brilliant.
Starring Rachel Leigh Cook, Josh Hartnett and Alan Rickman in a great ensemble cast, the Academy Award nominated writer of ‘The Full Monty’ has crafted a hilarious comedy about the things everyone wants in life: love, happiness, and great hair! As the National Hair Championships descend upon a small town in England, the country’s top stylists aren’t expecting much from the local talent. But they didn’t count on Phil Allen (Rickman), the retired golden boy of the competition circuit, entering the fray…
Often avoided because its, well. a hairdressing film. But it is a really sweet and funny film. The Hairdressing battle between Rickman and Bill Nighy is genius.
I normally put an avoid in here, but I can’t think of anything I would avoid. I love Mr Rickman in anything he turns his hand to!!
What do you think of FRC Icon Alan Rickman? Have you got any favourite films that I missed? Comment below!