To celebrate the release of Entertainment One’s Eye in the Sky we look back at the life and career of one of the most influential and spectacular British actor’s in Hollywood filming history. Born in Acton, London the British great was known prominently for his influences in both the filming and theatrical world. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and starring in his first Hollywood role as one of the most legendary villains in Hollywood history Hans Gruber in Die Hard there was simply nothing Rickman could not do to the highest aptitude. So this being said – here are Alan Rickman’s top 5 starring roles…
5 : Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Burton, 2006) – Judge Turpin
Known for his influence in theatrical theatre Alan Rickman puts in one monumental performance as the villainous Judge Turpin in Tim Burton’s remake of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Rickman’s ability to sing hugely renowned, powerful ballads like ‘Pretty Women’ and ‘Johanna’ furthermore underlined Rickman’s sheer versatility as an actor – resulting in this being one of his finest and most renowned on-screen appearances.
4 : Love Actually (Curtis, 2003) – Harry
Even with a plethora of stars ranging from the likes of Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Kiera Knightley, Alan Rickman is still the standout performer in Curtis’s Christmas ‘romcom’. Rickman plays Harry – a middle-aged man toying between the fidelity of his long term marriage and the prospect of an ‘office-fling’ with his feisty new assistant Mia. Most notably stand out scenes like ‘the ribbon scene’ performance alongside co-star Rowan Atkinson will be forever cemented as one of Rickman’s finest acting moments.
3 : Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Reynolds, 1991) – Sherriff George of Nottingham
Not only one of Rickman’s most sinister characters, but also was one of his most successful in regards to awards won. Rickman’s supporting role won him his first major acting award – picking up the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Rickman’s performance was praised by many with most notably the current Sherriff of Nottingham stating that, ‘There are many actors who have played the role of Sheriff of Nottingham, but few have done so as memorably as Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.’
2 : Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988) – Hans Gruber
‘Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?’… ‘Yippee-ki-yay, mother******’. This could have quite easily been titled Rickman’s finest motion picture, and to many people reading this I’m sure it absolutely is. This was Rickman’s first appearance in a major blockbuster and with so created one of the most iconic villains to have ever graced Hollywood, with website gamesradar voting the character the 15th greatest movie villain of all time in their list of 100.
1 : The Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011) – Severus Snape
‘There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class.’ Was there any other option but to title this as Alan Rickman’s finest character ever? Rickman’s performance as Severus Snape, the menacing professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry captured the hearts and imaginations of people of all ages of the world. Rickman’s passing rocked the Harry Potter community to pieces with fans of the franchise erecting a temporary ‘Alan Rickman plaque’ outside platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. Cast and crew flooded commemorative tributes by the dozens when news hit of Rickman’s passing – with most notably author of the franchise J.K Rowling tweeting, ‘There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.’
Fall in love with the brilliance of Alan Rickman one last time and take home Gavin Hood’s EYE IN THE SKY. Available on Blu-Ray and DVD on the 15th August.