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Alan Rickman

  • British actor
  • Born February 21, 1946
  • Died January 14, 2016

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the RSC stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, and after the production transferred to Broadway in 1987 he was nominated for a Tony Award.


Nothing gives me as much pleasure as travelling. I love getting on trains and boats and planes.




If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust.




I was 7, and I remember being given a part in a play and thinking, This is exciting.




Talent is an accident of genes - and a responsibility.




I knew with Snape I was working as a double agent, as it turns out, and a very good one at that.




If you could build a house on a trampoline, that would suit me fine.




On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway. A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.




Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.




I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.




What is it about actors? God knows I get bored with actors talking about themselves.




I think there should be laughs in everything. Sometimes, it's a slammed door, a pie in the face or just a recognition of our frailties.




And it's a human need to be told stories. The more we're governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.




If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.




I think there's some connection between absolute discipline and absolute freedom.




It would be wonderful to think that the future is unknown and sort of surprising.




The point about a great story is that it's got a beginning, a middle and end.




I approach every part I'm asked to do and decide to do from exactly the same angle: who is this person, what does he want, how does he attempt to get it, and what happens to him when he doesn't get it, or if he does?




I'm still living the life where you get home and open the fridge and there's half a pot of yogurt and a half a can of flat Coca-Cola.




Unless we tell stories about ourselves, which is all that theater is, we're in deep trouble.




Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.




From my experience, I think that every actor has to make sure that they're in charge of their own career somehow or other.




The more we're governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible. Or, what's impossible? What's a fantasy?




I get stage fright and gremlins in my head saying: 'You're going to forget your lines'.




I suppose with any good writing and interesting characters, you can have that awfully overused word: a journey.




I am the character you are not supposed to like.




You try to find things that are challenging and interesting and hopefully it will be the same to the audience.




Mellow doesn't describe me. I'm hungry every day.




I have a photograph at home of Fred Astaire from the knees down with his feet crossed. It's kind of inspiring because it reminds me his feet were bleeding at the end of rehearsals. Yet when you watch him, all you see is freedom. It's a reminder of what the job is about in general, not just being in musicals.




The first time that I came to New York to work properly was the mid-'80s, but I was doing eight shows a week. You have no life. Going to a punk rock club - or whatever the music was at that time - would not have been on my agenda.




All I want to see from an actor is the intensity and accuracy of their listening.




Film has to be reflecting the world that we live in, and that's all you want to be a part of. Actors inhabit the same planet as everyone else. It's a weird thing that happens when you're an actor because people hold you up because you somehow embody in parts groups of people or people's hopes or something.




A lot of the time I hate the theater. You think, 'I have to climb Mount Everest, again, tonight.' Oh, the theater is a scary place to be.




There's a voice inside you that tells you what you should do.




Older people say, 'Oh I loved you in 'Sense and Sensibility,' and that's the only film they want to talk about. Equally, there are people who only want to talk about 'Galaxy Quest.' And there's a whole bunch of teenagers who only want to talk about 'Dogma.'




It's a nightmare to sit and watch a film that I'm in. There's a horrible inescapability to it.




I can only see my limitations. That's just who I am.



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