Most of us only knew Alan Rickman as a talented British actor that entertained us with his roles in Galaxy Quest, Die Hard, Dogma, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and, of course, the Harry Potter franchise. Now that he has passed away, his friends and colleagues are sharing stories that shed new light on what type of person Rickman was when the cameras weren't rolling.
Ian McKellen (X-Men, The Lord of the Rings) put out his own statement regarding Rickman, which you can tell came straight from the heart. He remembers Rickman as a "constant agent for helping others" and someone he could depend on for "spot-on" advice. "His career was at the highest level, as actor on stage and screen and as director ditto."
They worked together on the 1996 TV movie Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny -- McKellen portrayed Tsar Nicholas II and Rickman portrayed Grigori Rasputin. Their performances won them Best Actor (Rickman) and Best Supporting Actor (McKellen) at the Golden Globes. Both were nominated for Emmy Awards as well, but only Rickman took home the prize.
"When he played Rasputin, I was the Tzar Nicholas. 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," McKellen recalled. "On that film, he discovered that the local Russian crew was getting an even worse lunch than the rest of us. So he successfully protested. On my first day before the camera, he didn't like the patronising, 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."
Read McKellen's full-statment in the post below.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alan Rickman's family and friends.