And be a Villain – Remembering Alan Rickman
I’ve been thinking about Alan Rickman lately, because I realized it has been just a little over six months since he left us behind. I have harbored a crush on him for many years, ever since I saw him in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to be exact. When I come across pictures of him on the internet I am reminded all over again why he was so crush-worthy. He was genuinely sexy, in my opinion, but he seemed like someone who didn’t know he was sexy. Or if he did know, he didn’t care.
As he aged, Alan got a bit thicker, his beautiful hair turned silvery and got thinner, but he always had that astonishing silky voice. I adored him, is all. And when I adore someone, they stay adored. I’ve always been like that – loyal to my crushes, whether living or dead. I still love John Lennon (my first love, at age 11), Mr. Spock (not Leonard Nimoy; there is a difference), Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and Alan Rickman. A damn good pantheon, if you ask me.
But back to Alan. I loved what a versatile actor he was, going from utterly over-the-top camp in ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’ to quietly subtle as a man who has fallen in love with a younger woman in ‘Sense’. Menacing as Snape (“Professor Snape, Harry”); adorably hammy in ‘Galaxy Quest’. I could name lots more, but my favorite part he was never in is Chief-Inspector Victor Gaston of the Sureté in Paris. And that part was all in my head.
Alan Rickman just embodied that tall, good looking, sadistic bastard in my Gothic Romance, ‘Disfigured’. It was almost as if the Chief-Inspector sprang full born into my book as I was writing it, always Alan from the first. Alan helped me create the character, I think. Victor Gaston knows he is an attractive man. He knows he has power and charisma, and that amazing voice. Honey and velvet and silk, and completely menacing. One day I will write a blog article about la Sureté, but for the purposes of this story it is the independently operated crime fighting unit of the Paris police back in the 1860s – 1870s. In its wild heyday, la Sureté had as many criminals in the organization as were being hunted for their crimes. Victor Gaston is a man of that ilk – hunting criminals while being one. If you want a convincing bad guy, look no further than Alan.
When we lose someone who is as one-of-a-kind as he was, it leaves a huge gaping wound behind, a great empty space that cannot be filled. I am glad we have his movies, with his many characters that are baaaaad-ass bad, high-falutin’ good, and rather ambiguous (Snape, anyone?). But honestly, I’d rather have him. Sigh.
(I should mention, since I was on the subject of crushes, that I don’t actually have a crush on Erik, AKA the Phantom of the Opera. I think I did for a little while, but somewhere along the way as I was working on my book, he became this character that I was trying to understand. I was thinking all the time, what would he say here, what would he do? And he just became much more complex. Erik is definitely much too dangerous a creature to have a mindless crush on, remember that, ladies.)
I want to leave you with this little YouTube clip of some of Alan’s best and most memorable movie roles. No, no need to thank me. Just try not to drool on your little screen.