When it comes to actors that brought their presence in every role, there may not be a better example than Alan Rickman. Rickman made his break into Hollywood with the iconic role of the evil Hans Gruber in Die Hard (more about that below!) but that was only one of the countless characters that the talented actor help bring to life.
There was no doubt that Rickman had an incredible talent for playing a variety of characters, but it would be impossible to go very much longer without mentioning the outstanding role that Rickman played with the character of Severus Snape. Arguably the most complex character from the immensely popular Harry Potter series, Rickman not only nailed the role, but he did so in such a fashion that it seemed like there never could have been anyone else that was even considered.
It is with a heavy heart that the world lost Alan Rickman on January 14th, 2016. Rickman was 69 years old when he passed away of cancer.
Rickman leaves behind a legacy not only on the big screen. He also was much loved for both his roles in television as well as on stage. Clearly the actor, who didn’t make his big break in Hollywood until his 40s, was talented enough to make his way no matter the medium.
With a life full of iconic roles, there is no shortage of amazing things that Alan Rickman has accomplished in his life that you might not know about. Here are only 10 little tidbits from the incredible life that Rickman lived.
10 There Was Almost A Nimoy/Rickman Project
9 There’s A Danish Film With Him, Terry Jones and Aaron Paul
8 He Didn’t Read The Harry Potter Books
You can blame Michael Gambon for spilling the beans. The established actor, who plays Dumbledore in 5 of the films, stated in an interview back in 2009 that neither himself, Rickman nor Ralph Fiennes have read the Harry Potter books. It’s amazing to see the acting job that Rickman does with the character, especially knowing that most of his inspiration comes from the script and only small pieces of information he picked up from talks with J.K. Rowling.
7 Rickman Was A Graphic Designer
6 He Had One Lover
5 Rickman Loved The ‘Risk Factor’
4 Rickman Intimidated Jason Mewes
For all of the amazing roles that Rickman has taken on, one of the most outside the box options has to be his involvement in Kevin Smith’s film Dogma. Rickman plays an arch angel in the film, but his involvement was a huge deal for Smith who often made films with his friends (including Mewes, who is the Jay in Jay and Silent Bob) and respected the hell out of Rickman. So much so, that Smith went up to Mewes and made sure that he knew just how serious Rickman could be. As a result, Mewes made sure he had not only his lines memorized but also the lines of every character in the film because he “didn’t want to piss off that Rickman dude.”
3 He Almost Turned Down Die Hard
It is amazing to think that Rickman almost turned down the role that helped him launch his movie career. When he was first offered Die Hard, back in 1987, it was only two days after he had landed in LA. Rickman admitted that he had no idea what went into making a movie, but was a huge fan of how the film portrayed African Americans.
2 Rickman Had Some Inside Harry Potter Knowledge
There are a bunch of reports that J.K. Rowling told Rickman the entire storyline behind Snape at the start of his acting in the films. When he was asked about it, Rickman stated that he did not get quite as much detail as people think but he did get a single hint. What was the hint? We’ll never know, but Rickman was not shy from stating
“Jo Rowling gave me one piece of information, it wasn’t even a fact – I promised I would never share it and I never will- which made me know that whatever happened, I had to drive down two roads at the same time with this character, until all the facts emerged. So I knew there was ambiguity.”
1 Hans' Death Even Faked Out Rickman
The end of Die Hard is an iconic scene with Hans Gruber falling to his death. In order to get the shot, Rickman agreed to fall 25 feet onto an airbag. It goes as you would expect “okay, you’re going to get dropped on the count of three!” only to try and get a genuine reaction from Rickman the director dropped him a full second before he was expecting it. Everyone knows that feeling of trying to brace for something, and then having it happen before you’re ready! No wonder Rickman was able to put on such a great look of genuine surprise that helps make the climax of the film all the more memorable.
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