The two most appealing things about Alan Rickman (this sounds like the beginning of a very poor joke I know) are his voice and his mouth, and both of those things make him utterly perfect for playing a villain. I award him, and his curling upper lip, the title of Most Fabulous Sneer ever.
He is, however, a bit of a scene stealer. The film Truly, Madly, Deeply, for example, had some vomit-inducingly winsome moments (an excess of snot from Juliet Stevenson, and the spectacularly irksome hopping scene on the South Bank that had me chewing the arm off the person sitting next to me in the Brixton Ritzy, and I’d never met them before).
And yet, the electric presence of Rickman as the ghost of the dead cello-playing boyfriend raised the quality of the film. He made the new, wet (but having the benefit of a pulse) love interest, played by Michael Maloney, appear terribly dull in comparison.
Richard Armitage has recently thrown down a pretty impressive gauntlet in the Robin Hood villain stakes, but way back in 1991, in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Rickman stole the show from Kevin Costner playing the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. If I’d have been Maid Marion, hell, if I’d been Friar Tuck, I know whose horse I’d prefer to ride off on. Rickman was also superb as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
More recently, Harry Potter fans will know him for his role as Severus Snape. I’ve been reading that Tim Roth was actually first choice for the role. This one is problematical for me, because, in the books, Snape is supposed to be physically greasy and repellant. Rickman just can’t play ugly, he’s too damn sexy. But if ever there were a man to convince a nice girl to head straight to the dark side, it would be Alan Rickman.
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Posted by Inkface