Devastated. Such a heavy word. Not sad, upset or down but devastated.
Yesterday, the 14th January 2016, the world lost one very special human.
There is 10 times as much truth in one tear as there is 10 words. Alan Rickman was, to me, a hero.
To those who know me know that my idols mean the world to me. As an actor I have a list; actors that have inspired me throughout my life that I am intent on getting to work with at some point during my career. Alan Rickman was most certainly on that list. In fact, after the death of my biggest inspiration (and the greatest man who ever lived) Robin Williams in 2014, Sir Rickman suddenly found himself at the very top of it!
So in 4 simple words, breathing suddenly became an impossible task. To be told “Alan Rickman is dead” set of a grenade in my chest. At first I thought it was a joke. I desperately wanted it to be. After all, even a joke that cruel would be kinder than it not being a joke at all. My whole world went numb and I felt like I was going to vomit right where I was standing at work and I didn’t even care because all I could hear was those 4 words ringing inside my head.
Now you may think it’s rather ridiculous or event down right stupid to be so affected by the death of a celebrity. “It’s not like you knew him”, “you’re acting like he was your family”…I am fully aware that no, I did not know this man personally. However, honestly, love is not measured by titles and DNA, but by how much affect that person has on your life.
I’m also aware that his death is most definitely not about me, it’s about Mr Rickman himself. However, I am simply using my story to highlight what an incredible human he was. You see, Alan Rickman not only had an affect on my life, but he unknowingly helped save it. Sure he wasn’t alone in that, there were other idols of mine that kept me going through the darkest of times but there are those select few who I really owe an extra slice of gratitude to. As the great Alan Rickman once said, “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.” As an actor you don’t just admire a talent like Alan’s, you worship it! Appreciation becomes obsession. It’s the hope you feed off to give you the strength to persevere in such a brutal profession. Seeing their face on screen or stage warms your heart. Hearing their accomplishments gives you faith in your own abilities, and sharing their passion fills you with pride over your art. For an actor suffering with mental illness, such an influential being such as Alan Rickman filled my heart and soul with just enough life and warmth to keep me going one day at a time. Without my idols, there’s a very strong chance I wouldn’t be here today.
While I am utterly heartbroken at the loss of such a man, I am glad his death will not cause controversy among gossiping mouths. Too often in today’s world a celebrity’s death is twisted into a scandal with the media choosing not to celebrate the life and work of that individual but instead to focus solely on the cause of death be it drugs, alcohol or suicide etc. But the loss of Alan, as tragic as it is, is still one of plain facts. To hear that he died a victim of cancer, surrounded by his loved ones means there is no room for the papers to make a juicy scoop but plenty of opportunity for reiterating to the world why this man was such a beloved actor in the first place!
Whether you knew him as professor Snape, Hans Gruber, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Colonel Brandon, Eli Michaelson or even Absolem the Caterpillar…Alan brought so much warmth and bliss to every character he inhabited that you couldn’t help but fall in love with him. He brought so much light to my life as I’m sure he did with many others. While there are many brilliant actors out there, there are very few that are entirely their own. But Alan Rickman was one of those actors, there was absolutely nothing generic about him, every aspect of his being was unique- from his famous tone to his rich wit!
Alan Rickman, you will be forever missed. Your legacy will go on for generations, growing stronger with every memory told. Your mark on stage and screen will never fail to influence and inspire other actors such as myself.
Thank you for being a decent human being with a decent but of talent. To s beautiful soul.
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman, 1946-2016…always?