Earlier today as I was going through my usual morning motions; grabbing a quick bite to eat, trying to make myself look somewhat presentable for work, and finishing up some last minute emails, I heard something that shook me to my core. I put my bowl of Frosted Flakes down on the table and walked over to my TV where Good Morning America was breaking the incredibly sad news that the talented and gracious Alan Rickman had passed away at the age of just 69 from cancer.
It’s always sad when a public figure passes away, but there are very few times when it greatly affects me. Robin Williams was one, as was today’s heartbreaking news. Maybe it’s because they fill your TV screens with laughter and life, permanently a fixture in your home that brings so much joy, that it’s easy to remember that they aren’t indestructible. That they–not the characters they play, but the role they have in real life–all deal with very real obstacles, hardships and pain, just like the rest of us.
While Rickman’s career was as long and storied as Dumbledore’s beard–his roles like Hans, Metatro, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Dr. Lazarus and Harry playing out on the big screen and in our living rooms–it’s his role as Snape that many, most, remember him by.
I, like many of my peers, grew up reading, watching and falling in love with the Harry Potter series, more often than not many times over. As much as he played a character who you couldn’t help but love to hate, and boy did I ever hate him sometimes, he brought this air of depth, of life, of absolute exquisiteness to the screen. He was incredible in every role he played, but his portrayal as the redeemed dark wizard takes the cake, or chocolate frog. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent watching these movies, more than I probably would ever care to admit, so in a very weird sense, I feel like I have lost a crazy but loveable and hilarious uncle. Even as I sit here rererererereading The Order of the Phoenix, it is Alan Rickman’s voice that pops into my head whenever Snape is teaching his potions class, or reprimanding Harry and the gang.
In honor of the late and great Mr. Rickman, I wanted to share two of my favorite scenes that show just how incredibly powerful of an actor he was. It’s actually a collection of memories, moments that happened over his entire life, from when he first meets Lily to when he sees her eyes again in Harry’s own. In this single tear, you see Snape really was one of the best of the best, and you fully appreciate the brilliance of Rickman’s deadpan portrayal, because there really was more to this tortured man than what met the eye..
Rickman brought an unfathomable kind of magic to everything he touched, a magic that will live on and continue to touch the lives of generations to come through his movies and art.
RIP, Mr. Rickman. You have left a heroic and noble hole in my heart and will forever and always be missed.