RIP Alan Rickman, master of the dramatic pause


Speaking as both a film nerd and aficionado of the craft of acting, I was devastated to hear of the loss of Alan Rickman today. It hasn’t been a good few weeks; the world just lost Bowie, and Lemmy, both huge heroes of mine, too; but Rickman was the only one where I felt compelled to write something down.

For my money, no actor in the world was better than him at delivering lines.

His sonorous voice was lovely to listen to, but where he really brought skill into the craft was his ability to time perfectly everything he said. With this he could mine humor or pathos from the simplest one-liners in a way that always had me enraptured. I can’t think of any other actor who was better at it, personally.

His voice is perfect but he makes the line hilarious by waiting for just the right amount of time; his face twitches, and you can really just hear how much he hates his catchphrase. It tells you so much about his character. One line! That makes the payoff so perfect much later in the film:

He was acting perfection, no one else could have done that part justice and the same goes for Hans Gruber, Professor Snape, and so many others. Here are just a few of my other favorite Rickman line deliveries:

I love the way he just rolls his eyes the whole time. You can tell he’s had this conversation a million times and just thinks humans are so stupid.

Do I still love Alan Rickman after all this time? Always.

Now here he reads Sonnet 130:

RIP Mr. Rickman, you were an icon and an inspiration. Your ability as an actor was unparalleled and you will be greatly missed.




1 Comment on RIP Alan Rickman, master of the dramatic pause

  1. Without Rickman, it would’ve been decades before I willingly watched a Kevin Smith movie. My brother rented Dogma, put it on, and I didn’t start paying attention until the Metatrone showed up — like literally. I didn’t realize Bethany worked at an abortion clinic.

    And it is interesting that he’s not in that movie much, but hands-down one of the most memorable characters. He also steals the show in Bottle Shock with his one, minor scene. And the last movie I saw him in was Love Actually where you’re supposed to hate the guy for cheating on his wife… but I was always conflicted because it was humorous — he sold empathy for a douchey character.

    I haven’t seen any of these movies you’ve shown cilps of (sans Dogma), but very excited to see some of them.

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