Students Bid Farewell to Alan Rickman
January 20, 2016
Filed under Arts and Entertainment
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Rickman, perhaps best known to the younger generations as Professor Severus Snape from the Harry Potter franchise, had been fighting an under-wraps battle with pancreatic cancer since August 2015.
His death, which comes in the wake of fellow Brit and legendary performer David Bowie’s, has been especially hard to take in for some of his die-hard followers, including sophomore Nell Pugliese.
“Yesterday morning, a friend of mine stopped me in the hallway and told me [that Rickman had passed],” Pugliese said. “I think that anyone who has any connections with Harry Potter is really, really, really sad, and a lot of people who watched his older movies can appreciate him for being a good actor in…a lot of things that people haven’t seen that often.”
Senior Beth Martin, also a Harry Potter buff, remarks that Rickman’s nuanced portrayal of Snape allowed the character to truly shine.
“…Towards the beginning, while reading the Harry Potter books…they wanted us to think Snape was awful,” said Martin. “but…since JK Rowling told Alan Rickman the actual ending…he showed that a character that was so awful…can be loved and redeemed.”Though Snape might be Rickman’s most famous alter ego, his other work has touched the lives of millions of people – while Pugliese fondly remembers his performance in Galaxy Quest and Martin thinks of Die Hard, senior Megan Barnish prizes 1990’s Truly, Madly, Deeply as her favorite Rickman flick.
“…It’s just a really unique movie,” Barnish said. “…he has to play a ghost who’s in love with this woman…it’s….kind of a hard part to play and he does an amazing job at it…he just inspires me a lot.”
According to Barnish, this inspiration wasn’t limited to fans of his films, but extended to those who had the privilege of working with Rickman during his prolific career.
“I know Emma Thompson is really close to him, and I know he was like Daniel Radcliffe’s mentor,” Barnish said. “[Radcliffe]…said how much good advice…and…support [Rickman] gave to him, and…Emma Thompson was talking about…how he was…so talented…he didn’t even have to talk, he could just express so much through his face, so people have lost… a greatly talented actor and a really sweet, genuine person too.”
Though Pugliese never met Rickman, she states that she got the same impression of the man through the big screen.
“He’s funny, he’s really nice…[and] dedicated,” Pugliese said. “He comes across as…a really nice person. He worked with child actors for…twelve years and made friends with them…”
Martin compares the worldwide heartbreak in the wake of the actor’s death to that of another famed man lost in 2014.
“It’s like when Robin Williams died,” Martin said. “…we lost this really huge actor who’s been around for forever and there’s…nothing left now but his movies and TV roles, but he’s going to be known for forever.”
Indeed, during the past week, fans on social media have been quoting one of Rickman’s most powerful lines in all of his work to express their grief and remembrance: