In a recent tribute by Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman’s life is being honored as the man he was, not the barb-delivering men he portrayed on many a movie screen. As Harry Potter honored Professor Snape by naming his son Severus after the fallen Hogwarts leader, Radcliffe is now honoring Rickman by reminding the world that the stern characters he played did not define the real person.
Alan Rickman’s death was a shock to Harry Potter fans. Similar to David Bowie, the actor and director had been quietly battling cancer all this time. He left behind his wife, Rima Horton, who married him in 2015 after being with the actor for many years. The couple did not have any children.
The actor was well-known for how he portrayed the bad guys in various movies, although he had memorable roles in Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility, and Truly, Madly, Deeply. Fans may remember him as the villain Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard movie, featuring Bruce Willis. Rickman’s acting as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves won him awards, taking away attention from Kevin Costner.
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But his role as Harry Potter’s Professor Snape is probably the role he will be remembered for most. The actor perfectly portrayed the character created by J.K. Rowling, but Daniel Radcliffe is reminding the world that Rickman was an entirely different person when the camera was turned off.
“People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner(or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny,” Radcliffe wrote in his Google+ post. “And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.”
Radcliffe claims “Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with.” The child actor met Rickman while quite young, so Radcliffe believes Rickman to be “one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry.”
“He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter,” Radcliffe recalls. “I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say ‘if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day.’ “
The Harry Potter actor says Rickman was “one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child.” The other major actors and actresses in the movie series expressed similar sentiments through social media. For example, Emma Watson posted a short tribute to her Facebook page.
“I’m very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you,” she wrote.
J.K. Rowling also honored Rickman’s memory on Twitter.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man,” she wrote. “My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.”
For Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman’s influence on his life was probably similar to how the fictional Professor Snape helped shape Harry Potter.
“Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career,” he wrote. “Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.”
[Image via Warner Bros.]