Alan Rickman Roles That Weren't Severus Snape

Updated on December 27, 2018
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Ash has a bachelor's in English Lit. She loves analyzing fiction and obsessing over books, film, and television.

I remember when Alan Rickman passed away, I thought to myself, "Another star has gone out, and the universe has grown darker." Or something silly and sentimental to that effect.

I also remember getting online and being supremely annoyed by the droves of Harry Potter fans who wouldn't shut up about the death of "Severus Snape."

I sputtered into my tea that it was utter nonsense. Alan Rickman was a wonderful actor and should be remembered for more than having played the creep-stalker of Lily Potter for years.

Here are my personal favorite Alan Rickman roles of all time.

Die Hard

My mother loved this film when I was a child, so I wound up watching it by proxy, sneaking in the living room and peering over the back of the couch, giggling when Bruce Willis said his now iconic line "Yippie-ky-yay, Motherfucker."

Alan Rickman was terrifying as Hans Guber, a German terrorist. He was unapologetically evil, a classic villain, complete with a set of moronic minions to sneer at and abuse.


Dogma was a comedy about God being Alanis Morissette and not giving a shit.

Because speaking would render the entirety of humanity into red matter, God must remain silent and let one of her angels be a voice. Metatron was that voice, a seraph played by Alan Rickman.

As an angel, Metatron wasn't sage and mysterious but was perfectly willing to admit he didn't have a clue what was going on. He was so hilariously normal, that without his wings, you would have thought him any random guy in the pub.

Most of God's angels seemed to have been that way, as the main character unwittingly meets another angel and commiserates with him about how abandoned she feels by God.

Galaxy Quest

In proper homage to rubber-headed aliens throughout television history, Alan Rickman played Alexander Dane, who in turn played Dr. Lazarus, an alien on a fictional science fiction show Galaxy Quest.

Word through the grapevine is that Alan Rickman and Tim Allen didn't like each other to start, so the (very entertaining) rivalry of their characters that's portrayed in the film is somewhat real. It worked for the movie, as Alexander's hatred for Jason Nesmith really made his character sympathetic and at the same time quite amusing.

"There were five curtain calls. I was an actor . . ."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Alan Rickman provided the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in 2005's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

He was a depressed robot who toddled around on stubbly little legs, bemoaning the meaninglessness of his life. He was a clearly sentient being who basically existed to serve organics, and no one bothered trying to help him in any way or even tried to discuss perhaps setting him free, cheering him up, maybe getting him a longer pair of legs.

What a bunch of dicks.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Alan Rickman was chilling as Judge Turpin, who was a sexual predator and a criminal. He had Sweeney Todd -- then known as Benjamin Barker -- shipped away to prison so he could corner and rape his wife. Then, after mentally and physically destroying Lucy, he took in her daughter with the intention of one day raping and destroying her.

Meanwhile, Sweeney Todd has been driven insane by his wrongful exile and returns to London ready to slit many throats. He sings a lovely duet about "pretty women" with Judge Turpin which I've always found oddly delightful.

Hearing Alan Rickman sing was . . . Well, it was magic.

Alice in Wonderland

Last but not least, Alan Rickman provided the voice for Absolem, the wise caterpillar in Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland.

One of his character's lines has become one of the most quoted lines on the internet, due in no small part to the way he delivered it,

"Nothing was ever accomplished with tears."

Rickman delivered the line in a casual, matter-o-fact way, as if he wasn't shaming Alice for having feelings and crying. He was merely stating the truth: she was wasting time.

Sometimes people need to be encouraged without judgement or criticism. Just encouragement. Absolem did that for Alice, giving her a subtle push toward her goal, picking her up again when she fell.

Now don't get me wrong.

I'm not saying it's wrong or bad if you only know Alan Rickman as Severus Snape or if that was the only role you liked him in. Crazy, maybe. But not bad.

I just felt the burning need to remind the world that Alan Rickman was more than Severus Snape, that his acting career existed long before the first Harry Potter book was ever published . . .

And it will continue to exist long after.

© 2018 Ash


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