by Corrine McClain
“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference, It can change the world,”(Alan Rickman).
Alan Rickman himself has told us all why we should never forget him- the change he has made in the world. Although he often portrayed a villain he was known as a friendly, kind hearted man by many of his friends and by actors who fortunately had the chance to act on the big screen with him. The acting phenomenon brought light to our hearts and laughter to many in several successful movies such as Galaxy Quest (1999), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Romeo and Juliet (1978), and much more. Although these are all great movies, the movies that have changed my life, which he had a big part in, was the Harry Potter series.
I remember watching the Harry Potter movies at a very young age and having to ask my brother on several occasions what was going on since he was the reason I started watching the movies in the first place. When I got a little older, I wandered over to the books in my school library remembering the laughs and cries my brother and I shared over the movies. I fell in love with the books and later saved enough money to get my own movie collection of the Harry Potter series. Many say that there were important parts of the books, that wasn’t showed well in the movies, but after reading the books I realized Alan Rickman was one of the only actors to have truly pleased me with making a character their own while making sure that the main characteristics of the character are still there.
When I read the books, I never imagined that any actor could fulfill the part of Professor Severus Snape. Although, he clearly isn’t the villain, in the beginning of the series, Harry, Ron, and Hermione make it seem as if he is. The real reason it seems as if Snape hates Harry is because Harry was his father with his mother’s eyes (as was said on multiple occasions but without meaning until the ending of the series). Snape was in love with Lily Potter, Harry’s mother but he felt as if James, Harry’s father got in the way. Also, if Lily hadn’t been trying to defend Harry, in Snape’s eyes it’s as if she’d have had a chance to escape her death. On the other hand, Snape loves Harry like he is his son but will not clearly show it. Snape became like a father figure to Harry and Alan Rickman followed the role of Snape perfectly while bringing something different to the character such as his distinctive voice, and his ability to use an expressive face that always hints at a deeper story than Snape just hating Harry.
I find it impressive how I could tell Alan Rickman wasn’t just acting to become famous or earn money. He was enjoying it and took it seriously. Acting was his profession that got him far. As Alan Rickman said movies could do, any movie he was in changed the world. Alan Rickman, as an individual changed the world with his creativeness and his initiative to take control of a character. As Alan Rickman once said, “Acting is an accident of genes- and a responsibility.” He was able to make what he said true by showing others instead of just telling how to treat acting. The Harry Potter series was one example of this that I’m glad I got to be a part of.
Alan Rickman bought a new aspect to acting. Anyone who is able to take a character and do what they’re supposed to do and more has true talent. It is so sad that Alan Rickman, one of the greatest role models for actors who try to do that exact thing is gone now. Most of the roles Alan Rickman was given was a villain but even in roles that weren’t villains, he was the clear option for the role. Someone so talented, is always valued in the arts. Alan Rickman will be in our hearts- always.
R.I.P Alan Rickman (February 21,1946- January 14, 2016)
Click below to see Rickman discuss his interpretation of Snape, and some of Snape’s greatest moments.