Alan Rickman, saying goodbye to the original British on-screen villain

Written by

The news of Alan Rickman's passing has deeply saddened us all, however we think it's time to celebrate his wonderful career and to highlight how he almost single-handedly made the Brit Hollywood's go-to bad guy!

No one will ever be quite like Alan Rickman again. His voice, his unique delivery, his undeniable screen presence. He was certainly one of our generation's truly great actors and he'll be sorely missed. Rickman will not only be remembered as the great actor he was, but also as one of the actors who helped start the brilliant cliché of Hollywood casting a Brit as their movie villain. He played some of cinemas most memorable onscreen villains and we'd like to honor him by going over some of his very best.

Hans Gruber

Die Hard is probably most well-known for John McClane's famous line: "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf*cker." Yet the reason why the first movie was so much better than the others in the franchise is because of its villain. Your movie is only ever as good as your villain. Alan Rickman plays German terrorist Hans Gruber, who gatecrashes a Christmas party in a 40-story building and subsequently keeps all the guests hostage. However, among those attending the party is the NYPD's John McClane, who turns out to be a bit of a handful for Gruber and his band of long-haired German terrorists. Rickman dominates the screen and in many ways is more memorable than Bruce Willis' McClane. The subsequent films never really managed to fill that Rickman-shaped hole. There's a reason why his Hans Gruber came in at number 28 in Time Out's 50 best movie villains of all time.

Sheriff George of Nottingham

Rickman then showed us how good he was at being bad in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and it was yet another case in which he was more captivating than the film's good guy, in this case Kevin Costner's Robin Hood. If the line: "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon," isn't enough to send shivers down your spine then we don't know what will. Rickman was also able to brilliantly interweave humor with menace when playing his villains, which makes them even more memorable. That's what he did with his take on the Sheriff of Nottingham. After claiming that he'll cut Robin Hood's heart out with a spoon, his cousin, Guy of Gisborne, asks him why a spoon. The Sheriff replies: "Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more." What a line! And what a villain! His Sheriff of Nottingham will live long in the memory.

Professor Severus Snape

People are already getting very excited to see what Eddie Redmayne does as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, yet we shouldn't forget where it all started. While reading the books, one of the characters who you would have hated the most (there were a lot of them to despise), would have been Professor Severus Snape: a horribly twisted potions master who is constantly giving Harry Potter a hard time. A lot of it had to do with Snape's poor relationship with Harry's father. From the very instant you see Rickman as Snape it all fits. He was perfect in the role: his unique voice, his movement, his whole demeanor was spellbinding (pardon the pun). He was dripping with disdain for Harry and his friends and unbearably biased towards all the Slytherin pupils. Yet his character ends up having the most interesting and depressing story arch out of anyone in the series, and if Rickman's performance doesn't bring you to tears in the final movie then you simply have no heart. Nobody, and we mean nobody, could have played Snape any better than Rickman, and he'll hold a special place in many a Potter fan's heart. What's your favorite Alan Rickman performance?

Source: meltygroup / Time Out