The wound in my heart has been torn back open – the one left by Harry Potter. Alan Rickman, aka Severus Snape, has died from cancer at the age of 69. Now, I realize he was so much more than Snape, he was an absolutely fantastic actor. However, I am part of the Harry Potter generation. I used to think that phrase was making fun of people my age, but it isn’t. The first book in the series was released (in the US) when I was 8 years old. The last movie came out when I was 21. That is 13 years of my life spent waiting for the next Harry Potter installment. When I turn 26 in March, that will mean I spent half of my life waiting for Harry Potter. So, yes, for me, Alan Rickman will always be Snape. That, and they couldn’t have cast a more perfect actor if they had tried. Because he is Snape, hearing the news of his death felt like the hole that will never heal left at the close of Harry Potter (it’s not a bad one, it’s just that much of a part of who I am) was made raw again and had salt poured on it. I have always thought that he would be a fantastic person to know.
Alan Rickman always struck me as a very warm and cheerful soul, with a great depth of feeling. The depth of his acting definitely proves the depth of his emotions; he couldn’t have done what he did without being an incredibly empathetic soul. I always wished I could meet him… My impression could best be described as the stereotypical “perfect father/grandfather” type of person: cheerful, warm, loving, stern when necessary, willing to do anything for the people he loves. This idea was reinforced when I heard about his wife: they were together for 50 years, but only married for one. I imagine that when he was diagnosed with cancer, he wanted to make sure she would be taken care of legally if he happened to lose the battle. That’s just the kind of thing I would imagine he would want to take care of first.
And yes, he is not just Snape. He plays a great role in Love Actually, though a role you are supposed to hate in a way. I also loved him as Marvin in Hitchhiker’s Guide and the blue caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton one). He was fantastically creepy as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd. However, anytime I see him in anything, I just go “OMG! It’s Snape!” and I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with, is that this wonderful and talented soul had to leave so early.
R.I.P Alan Rickman