For so many people, including me, Alan Rickman will forever be associated with one major performance, that of Severus Snape. His role in the eight Harry Potter movies is truly iconic, and in a series filled with fantastic actors playing much-loved parts, Rickman as Snape stood out from the rest. Yet to only know him for Harry Potter is to ignore dozens of other wonderful performances he gave throughout his career, from Truly Madly Deeply's Jamie to Love Actually's Harry to Die Hard's Hans Gruber. And that's not even mentioning Galaxy Quest 's Alexander, a role that Rickman will always be remembered fondly for by sci-fi and fantasy fans.
Although Galaxy Quest wasn't a huge movie upon its release, earning strong reviews and a solid, if nothing special, box office take, it has become something of a cult classic over the years. About the former stars of a Star Trek-like TV show who, upon reuniting, are recruited by real aliens who believe the show is real and desire their help, Galaxy Quest is a funny, smart, and wholly original look into the sci-fi universe. Alongside Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and more, Rickman had a starring role, playing Alexander, an actor with clear hatred for always being associated with playing an alien doctor. Yet like his castmates, he's forced to revive the role when the aliens teleport them to their spaceship, and slowly, he begins to embrace the part that made him so beloved by fans.
The movie was filled with amazing performances (Weaver, resentful of having been the show's token "dumb blonde" character, was a particular standout), but Rickman's work as Alexander was utter perfection. Watching his emotions go from utter frustration to reluctant acceptance to, finally, silly happiness at being back in character, viewers saw the actor at his absolute best. Whether it was him giving off his signature eye-roll when being forced to put on a prosthetic head or tearfully saying his famed catchphrase, "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!" when his new friend was mortally injured, there wasn't a Rickman moment in the film that didn't feel utterly real. His work played an integral part in making the movie the classic it's viewed as today.
So as you mourn Rickman, remember him for all the great performances he gave throughout his career, not just his one most famous. In the immortal words of the Galaxy Quest crew: "Never give up. Never surrender." Thanks to his beloved films, Alan Rickman's legacy will stay with fans forever.
Image: DreamWorks; Giphy