Ian McKellen Honors Alan Rickman With A Statement Proving The 'Harry Potter' Star Was Beyond Caring
The statements keep rolling in for Alan Rickman, who died Thursday at age 69 after a battle with cancer. When it comes to a man who's touched so many lives, especially those of his fellow actors, well, everyone wants to honor him for those reasons alone. That said, Ian McKellen is honoring Alan Rickman with words that are beyond sentimental.
In a statement released to Bustle, the Lord of the Rings actor said,
There is so much that is matchless to remember about Alan Rickman. His career was at the highest level, as actor on stage and screen and as director ditto. His last bequest of his film A Little Chaos and his indelible performance as Louis 14th, should now reach the wider audience they deserve.
Beyond a career which the world is indebted to, he was a constant agent for helping others. Whether to institutions like RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] or to individuals and certainly to me, his advice was always spot-on. He put liberal philanthropy at the heart of his life. He and Rima Horton (50 years together) were always top of my dream-list dinner guests. Alan would by turns be hilarious and indignant and gossipy and generous. All this delivered sotto, in that convoluted voice, as distinctive as Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Alec Guinness, Alastair Sim or Bowie, company beyond compare.
McKellen also opened up about starring alongside Rickman in the 1996 HBO movie Rasputin, which told the story of "mad monk" Rasputin from the court of Tsar Nicholas in Russia. As I'm sure you've already guessed, Rickman played Rasputin, and for the role he won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV in 1997.
"When he played Rasputin, I was the Tzar Nicholas," McKellen reflected in the statement. "Filming had started before I arrived in St Petersburg. Precisely as I walked into the hotel-room, the phone rang. Alan, to say welcome, hope the flight was tolerable and would I like to join him and Greta Scacchi and others in the restaurant in 30 minutes? Alan, the concerned leading man."
Based on McKellen's statement, it's clear that Rickman was both a kind and generous man, who deeply cared for others. It's something McKellen admired so much about him. "On that film [Rasputin], he discovered that the local Russian crew was getting an even worse lunch than the rest of us," McKellen said. "So he successfully protested. On my first day before the camera, he didn’t like the patronizing, bullying tone of a note which the director gave me. Alan, seeing I was a little crestfallen, delivered a quiet, concise resumé of my career and loudly demanded that the director up his game."
The two definitely had quite the connection and relationship, and one McKellen will surely remember for the rest of time. With that, I'll leave you with McKellen's concluding words about Rickman:
Behind his starry insouciance and careless elegance, behind that mournful face, which was just as beautiful when wracked with mirth, there was a super-active spirit, questing and achieving, a super-hero, unassuming but deadly effective. I so wish he’d played King Lear and a few other classical challenges but that’s to be greedy. He leaves a multitude of fans and friends, grateful and bereft.