I’ve never really been affected by an actor’s or a performer’s death. Not to say I haven’t been sad about them or anything, just that it’s something I’ve just accepted as a part of life.
That all changed this past week when I learnt of the sad news of Alan Rickman’s passing.
I found out via Twitter. I saw a couple tweets with his name and thought “it can’t be?” And then I saw the tweet that confirmed it. I was watching a let’s play video at the time and I was keen on finishing it so while I was watching and laughing along with that, I posted my reaction to the news on Twitter and Facebook.
After I finished watching that let’s play it started dawning on me what actually happened. Seeing tributes flow in, reactions from friends and other personalities. It started to become real.
I then messaged a few of my friends “lumos”, a call-back Dumbledore’s funeral in The Half-blood Prince. While doing this, I decided I’d watch a few Snape videos on YouTube. And then I broke. I tried to hold back the tears but they just came bawling out.
Is it strange that I’d cry for someone I’d never even met? A man I only knew through screen. This was the first time an event like this has affected me so much. But it really felt like I lost someone close to me, and you know what? He was. And to so many others too.
I grew up watching Alan Rickman play Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, a series that is really close to me and was the first thing I thought of. It really took a tremendous actor to play such a great character of the series and he did it so well. I then thought of Marvin, the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a role he took on so brilliantly. Just like Snape, it was like he was always meant to be that character. Today I decided to watch Galaxy Quest and yet again, Alan Rickman’s performance was spot on!
Now I totally understand why people grieve for these actors, performers, celebrities.. When you spend much of your life idolising, following, watching these personalities there’s this connection you have with them. And to lose that means quite a lot.
Rest in peace, Alan Rickman. You were a great man.
P.S. Screw cancer.