Celebrities in Classics – Alan Rickman

rickmanCelebrities in Classics is a regular feature where I highlight the classic novel adaptations my favourite actors have starred in.

WHO IS IT? I was sad to hear the news that English actor, Alan Rickman, had recently died. With a long career that began in theatre and then moved to television and movies, Alan first caught the attention of North American audiences as the dastardly Hans Gruber in Die Hard. He’s won countless awards, including the Tony Award, the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe and even the MTV Movie Award.

WHAT’S SO FASCINATING? That voice. Alan Rickman’s voice is deep and rich, and can either cut you to shreds or lull you gently to sleep. Also, he was a dynamic actor.

FIRST ENCOUNTER: Yippe ki-yay, it’s Die Hard! The zingers in this movie are themselves to die for ha ha …

Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman): This time John Wayne does not walk off into the sunset with Grace Kelly.
John McClane (Bruce Willis): That was Gary Cooper, asshole.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER: I never realized how many of Alan Rickman’s movies I love until I saw his filmography: Die Hard, Robin Hood, Galaxy Quest … Most people probably have a soft spot for Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series, but for it me it will always be the reserved, lovesick Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility.


1978 ~ Romeo and Juliet ~ Tybalt
1980 ~ Thérèse Raquin ~ Vidal
1982 ~ The Barchester Chronicles ~ The Revd Obadiah Slope
1991 ~ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves ~ Sheriff of Nottingham
1995 ~ Sense and Sensibility ~ Colonel Brandon
2001 ~ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone ~ Severus Snape
2002 ~ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ Severus Snape
2004 ~ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ~ Severus Snape
2005 ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ Severus Snape
2005 ~ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ~ Marvin the Paranoid Android (voice)
2006 ~ Perfume: The Story of a Murderer ~ Antoine Richis
2007 ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ Severus Snape
2009 ~ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ Severus Snape
2010 ~ Alice in Wonderland ~ Absolem the Caterpillar (voice)
2010 ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 ~ Severus Snape
2011 ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ~ Severus Snape
2016 ~ Alice Through the Looking Glass ~ Absolem the Caterpillar (voice)

To see Alan’s full filmography, visit Wikipedia.

FUN FACT: Alan Rickman was Richard Curtis’ choice to play Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (!) and the role eventually went to Hugh Grant.

CANADIAN FUN FACT: Alan Rickman was good friends with Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s former Governor General and considered Canada a second home.

GREAT QUOTE: “I like it when stories are left open.”

What’s your favourite Alan Rickman movie?


13 comments on “Celebrities in Classics – Alan Rickman

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
    January 29, 2016

    This is a perfect choice for Celebrities in Classics. I didn’t realize Alan had done so many adaptations. I must check out that version of Romeo and Juliet. It’s too hard to pick a favorite Alan movie for me – I feel like HP, Sense and Sensibility, Die Hard and Hitchhiker’s Guide are all the same in terms of how awesome Alan was in them!


    • ebookclassics
      January 29, 2016

      It’s a BBC version of Romeo and Juliet, so I think it would be very good. I don’t remember him in Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I’m due for a re-watch.


  2. Brian Joseph
    January 29, 2016

    Everyone is understandably and rightfully talking about his distinguished carrier.

    I really need to catch that 1982 version of The Barchester Chronicles.


    • ebookclassics
      January 29, 2016

      I didn’t know he was in The Barchester Chronicles. I feel like I need to read some Trollope before I watch it.


  3. TJ @ MyBookStrings
    January 29, 2016

    For me, it’s Sense and Sensibility! And you are right, that voice! I am seriously considering becoming a member of Audible again, because I read somewhere that he’s narrated some audiobooks.


    • ebookclassics
      January 29, 2016

      You piqued my curiosity, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive list online. It looks like he definitely narrated The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.


      • TJ @ MyBookStrings
        January 30, 2016

        Hm, I have to find where I read about this. I know it mentioned Hardy. I’ll let you know if I find the article.


  4. Naomi
    January 29, 2016

    Colonel Brandon all the way! 🙂 He plays the bad guy so well, but I really love him as the good guy.
    I don’t usually get all emotional over celebrities, but I was sad when I heard about Alan Rickman. And so was my daughter.


    • ebookclassics
      January 29, 2016

      It’s very sad, but what a legacy he left behind. We will always have these wonderful movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jessicabookworm
    January 29, 2016

    While I love nearly all these films you’ve listed I am the same as you – Rickman will always be Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility 🙂


  6. jennielyse
    January 29, 2016

    My favorite Alan Rickman character is Dr. Lazarus in Galaxy Quest. I ❤ that movie and it wouldn't be the same with him or his character.

    I recently saw Sense and Sensibility for the first time. On the day, he passed away actually. And, I really liked it. I thought he did a great job as Colonel Brandon. I just thought it was weird that his love interest was Kate Winslet. I thought he belonged more with Emma Thompson.


    • ebookclassics
      January 30, 2016

      Words can’t describe how much I love Galaxy Quest and Alan Rickman as Dr. Lazarus. Just thinking about the movie makes me laugh.

      The first time I watched Sense and Sensibility, I hadn’t read book and didn’t know the ending. I also thought Colonel Brandon was going to end up with Elinor because they seemed to have a connection.


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This entry was posted on January 28, 2016 by in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , .

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