In the last months, I wasn’t as obsessed with Alan Rickman as I’ve used to be some years ago. Of course, he was my favourite actor and I admired as much as I have always done.
When a celebrity dies, I am, of course, sad. Especially if it’s the death of someone I particularly like or of someone who died comparatively young and sudden. But it’s still distant. It’s sad in the way every message of a death is sad. But it doesn’t hurt on a personal level.
I thought I could handle the death of Alan Rickman the way I would do. I never met him, I am simply a fan, like millions of fans. But my feelings about his death are in a way in between the feelings one has about a celebrity dying and the loss of a friend. I am surprised about these feelings myself, I didn’t expect them.
In a way, it does feel silly. Why do I feel in such a way about a person I have never met, I have never known personally?
But who do you know personally? Of course, I could not know what’s truly inside of him.
But I knew him, in a way. His movies have been an important part in my life and, yes, works of art are important in my life and so are artists. Not only the creation, but also the admiration of art is a major part of my own identity and Alan Rickman is an actor I partly grew up with. In fact, I did grow up with his movies and through them with him, although only partly in the classic sense of the word. However, in the last time I was mostly concerning myself with other things - and other people.
I heard about his death in the news. It was very simple, the last message before the weather. A black and white picture of him, the simple statement that the British actor Alan Rickman had died. I was in the room, but I didn’t follow the news until that moment and the gasp I made was almost like a scream. My stomach felt like it was turned inside out and upside fown the rest of the day. Yesterday, I was close to tears several times. I tend to forget it. I constantly forget that Alan Rickman is dead. But that is not the proper way to explain my feelings - I don’t understand, realise or comprehend it. But then, suddenly, without any obvious association, I remember, I understand for some seconds. It’s a cold, harsh feeling I know from other, more personal situations of my life. But I have never felt in such a way about an actor or any other kind of person I only knew from a screen and whom I have never met. And I didn’t expect to feel that way about a person I admire, but neglected recently.
I kind of forgot about the admiration I used to have, I didn’t show as much attention as I used to a while ago. And now, I remember. I remember that he’s there and I remember that he isn’t there anymore.
Alan Rickman is not one of the actors I found particularly entertaining in more recent months. But he is an actor that, no matter how odd this may seem, accompanied me on ways that made up important parts of my own personal development.
I found Alan Rickman, like most of my generation, through Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a very important part in my life and Severus Snape forever one of the most interesting characters. I became a Harry Potter fan rather late, when I was thirteen. But I knew the third and the first movie from when I was nine. I found Snape so very fascinating, especially when I learned that he was not evil. I had no idea who Alan Rickman was, I didn’t know his name, but I thought he was interesting even then. And looking back, he was a perfect fit. Too old, too tall, not thin enough. Who cares, that man was an actor. And he acted. He was great.
But of course, I would never reduce him to one role. In fact, it was him who helped me to widen my horizon and broaden my mind. I watched movies only because he was in them and found how great they were, which opened new doors for me. And no actor has yet ahd the same effect on me, but even those I admire, because I have found them through him.
Because I miss Alan Rickman incredibly much, to my own surprise, and I am in tears and hurt and confused and I will treasure him and his great work for