Thursday, January 14, 2016

Turn to Page 394

by Melissa Uhrin
This week has been a terrible one for the film and music world.

Lemmy Kilmister.
Angus Scrimm.
David Bowie.

And while death is sad no matter who we lose, some hit harder and closer to home... I cannot even type his name without having to stop and wipe away the tears.

Alan Rickman.

I thought writing about him this morning would come easily, as he is an actor that I have loved and admired for decades (most definitely in my top five of all time), but I think almost fifteen minutes have passed and I have just been staring into the screen, at a loss for words. Words are almost impossible when they are coming directly from your heart, and when your heart has been broken.

Alan Rickman gave life to every single character he portrayed. Without his Hans Gruber, Die Hard would have just been Bruce Willis chasing terrorists in a burning building. No other Hans would have had the same perfect touch. Forever a fan favourite, he laid the groundwork for villains in the subsequent Die Hard movies. “Oh, yes. What was it you said to me before? Yippie-ki-yay... motherf----r.”
His cruel and murderous Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves steals the show. Period. The movie is good, but Rickman's performance takes it to a whole new level of fantastic. “I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!”... “Because it's dull you twit, it will hurt more!”
Again, another example of a movie being great, but with all that Rickman brings to the screen, he elevates everything to a fantastic. His Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest is another forever favourite of mine; the character growth throughout the duration of the film, while obviously written to be so, would not have had the depth were it not for the actor bringing it to us. “By Grabthar's hammer... what a savings.”
And finally what I consider to be one of the most complex and loved characters of all time, Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. Alan Rickman brought to life the writings of J.K. Rowling's wizard universe and is everything that was depicted on the pages and so much more. From his perfect articulation, enunciation and delivery of lines that would have otherwise been lost to his heartbreaking portrayal of a lifetime love, this, to me, was his performance of a lifetime. It brought him to a whole new generation of fans, who may not have otherwise known his genius and I know that my children and their children's children all the way down the line will, as I have, fall in love with (who in my opinion) is the best character in the series. “You have your mothers eyes”.

We lost a film and stage icon today. While we will continue to relive all the beauty, terror, comedy and love you leave behind onscreen, each viewing will be bittersweet. Thank you for all that you did for an industry that will forever bear your mark. “After all this time?” “...Always.”


Rest in Peace, Alan Rickman.


  1. I read this really early in the morning and it ruined my day. What another sad passing in such a short time. I really need to see Galaxy Quest again, but today I'll be watching Prince of Thieves in tribute. He was a fantastic actor who stole every movie he was in. His death hurts like someone taking my heart out with a spoon.

  2. Simply and beautifully put. Thank you for writing this Melissa. It's been a hard week for movie fans.

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  4. I am deeply affected by the loss of Alan Rickman, a man who had tremendous impact on my tastes while they were still being formed and who I think set the bar for what I could and should expect from "serious" actors, both on and off the screen. He was always humble in interviews, always gracious of other actors (he even compliments Kevin Costner's performance in the extras for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)and always an absolute joy to watch with his deliberate movements and odd diction. I've been a fan of this man for almost 25 years, and I took him for granted by assuming I wouldn't be saying goodbye for many, many years. Knowing that he's no longer here really hurts, but I take joy in the many, many fantastic performances that he left behind and the privilege we all shared in of seeing him work.

  5. A wonderful eulogy. I think I am also still in disbelief. Like Heath I took Alan Rickman for granted. It felt like he was always a part of my life, and would always be around. He voice was extremely comforting like a warm blanket. He made everything better.

  6. Thursday night I attended a 35mm screening of "Unholy Rollers" at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema 'The Deuce' monthly series celebrating the Times Square Grindhouse cinema period. The regular pre-movie show was replaced by an impromptu homage to David Bowie, but they shoehorned Alan Rickman into Bowie's tribute (showing pictures of Gruber and Alexander Dane). Half the sold out crowd didn't even know Rickman had passed away, and when told by the host they left out audible 'Oh, no' exclamations. :-(