To Gruber and To Snape


Who would have imagined that one simple word could ever mean so much to millions of people all over the world? One word that would teach so many people what love is. Every single ‘witch’ and ‘wizard’ reading this will be able to understand who is being referred to here- Severus Snape. Today, 21 February, is the birth anniversary of Alan Rickman, the guy who gave Severus Snape a face and “Always” a voice.

To every movie fanatic, Alan Rickman’s name would be well known as a guy who has played several iconic characters throughout his career. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Rickman played his first on-stage role in theatre as Sherlock Holmes in 1976. He did theatre till 2012 up till which he had been a part of more than twenty plays, of which at least five were the works of Shakespeare.

In 1978 Rickman landed his first on-screen role as Tybalt in the BBC television show ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Since the very beginning of his career, Rickman has constantly been engaged by his work throughout the years, regardless of whether it was a play, a television part, or a movie. Although he was a successful artist by that time, he got a major break in 1988 when he played the role of Hans Gruber, the German terrorist leader in the movie ‘Die Hard’. Played alongside Bruce Willis the movie earned great fame worldwide due to its action-packed plot and its adventurous appeal to the youth.

Even today, 31 years later, the movie and the characters have a very strong and significant fan base comprising of the current generation youth as well. The next major work for him was the character of Sheriff of Nottingham in the movie ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ in 1991 for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. ‘Quigley Down Under’, ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’, Sense and Sensibility’, and ‘Galaxy Quest’ are some of his most popular works in the 1990s before he landed the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series in 2001.

A well-known character for almost everyone today, Severus Snape has been acknowledged very graciously in the capacity of Alan Rickman. For his work as Snape, Rickman has been nominated eleven times for awards under various categories. Of these eleven he won a Scream Award, a San Diego Film Critics Society Award, a People’s Choice Award, and an MTV Movie Award. During his career, he was also offered an OBE award (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). It is a common opinion among many followers of the ‘magical world’ that without Alan Rickman the role of Snape would not have been as commendable as it was. After his death on 14 January 2016 his fans created a memorial underneath the ‘Platform 9 ¾’ sign at London’s King’s Cross Railway Station.

Rickman’s death was a very untimely loss for both the film industry as well as his fans. His last movie ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ which was released later that same year was a tribute to his memory and his work. At the 88th Academy Awards in 2016, he was paid respects through the ‘Oscars- In Memoriam’. The various crew and cast members of the Harry Potter series released sorrowful statements in his memory. At the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards Kate Winslet gave him a tearful tribute and adding, “And that Voice! Oh, that voice.” Sir Ian McKellen wrote, “behind [Rickman’s] mournful face, which was just as beautiful when wracked with mirth, there was a super-active spirit, questing and achieving, a superhero, unassuming but deadly effect.” Several other known personalities paid their respects through several media platforms.

On his birthday, the film industry offers its tribute to one of the most well-known, talented, and versatile artists that it has ever seen.

We thank you for the soulful memories that you have given us. These are memories which will stay on with us “Always”.

Picture credits- Pinterest

Featured Image credit- Sreeja

Written by Tejas Mishra for MTTN

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