From Hans Gruber To Severus Snape: Top Five Reasons Alan Rickman Is Such a Lovable Villain

The 69-year-old actor who died from cancer is a tough act to follow.

4:16 AM EST 1/21/2016 by Rhea Pruto, Celebeat Reporter

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Alan Rickman may have played villains you loved to slap, from Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" to Severus Snape in "Harry Potter," but there are reasons why the actor remains so lovable, or at least five reasons. Here is a roundup of these reasons. 

The One Who Speaks, Counts and Sings Methodically 

If there is one thing so remarkable about Rickman, apart from his personality and acting prowess, it was his voice. Rickman has a voice made for scaring children, and adults in their nightmares. It's the eerily calm voice of a man out to get you, a voice you want for yourself if you want to scare people too. Because his voice is so methodical, it seems that whatever he's saying, he's being calm and authoritative, two things you do not want a villain to be when he is out to kill or hurt someone.

Remember how he counted to three as dapper terrorist Gruber in "Die Hard," asking Mr. Tagaki, the head of the firm that occupies Nakatomi Plaza, for a code? Mr. Tagaki, ever calm and cordial, became so flustered by how Gruber counted out those three numbers. He refused to give the code, though, even taunting Gruber to kill him, which the terrorist gladly did. 

His performance in "Sweeney Todd" was the same. Even as he was singing, he sounded so calm and calculative! 

Below is the video of his scary act as Gruber. Check it out.

The One Who Can Act Even if Not Needed

What's amazing about the particular performance of Rickman as Gruber is that it propelled him to become a household name as a new breed of villain--dapper, clean looking and eloquent but deadly all the same. Rickman never before appeared on the big screen prior to "Die Hard," but his Gruber role, plus the way he speaks, immediately made people take notice.

If before there were no criteria for actors to be great villains, Rickman started one for the way he delivered his Gruber character, Vulture said. Before Rickman, villains of American action thrillers only need to look and act psychotic, if not act like brutes who are trigger happy and blood thirsty.  

This is probably why he is so effective as Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" series.  He's a professor, so he needs to be calm, eloquent and even occasionally compassionate. But he hated Harry Potter's guts, so he is vile and annoying at the same time to "the boy who lived." If he didn't not know how to balance elegance and savagery so well, he would not have been so effective as Snape. 

The One Who's Direct and Frank

Rickman played villain so well because he seemed to be the man who cannot mince words. In most of his characters, he'll say brutal things in his deep voice if he feels like it. He was the same in real life. In an interview, he revealed that prior to "Die Hard," he was not as interested in acting as people believed, Den of Geek reported. He almost turned down "Die Hard!" He said he does not know anything about the industry. He even implied that he was just a "cheap" actor, so he was given the role. 

The One Who Can Have Fun

Even if all his roles as villain make people think it's impossible for him to play jokes or pranks, Daniel Radcliffe claimed Snape knows how to be funny too. An old video of Radliffe detailing how Rickman played a practical joke on him surfaced after he died, showing his lighter side. 

 

The One Who's Not Afraid to Be a Feminist

Emma Watson's personal eulogy to the late actor might have caught her some flak, but it is also good to know that Rickman is one with the feminist movement. In a Twitter tribute, Rickman's co-star in the "Harry Potter" movies, or Hermione Granger, highlighted the actor's pride in being a feminist. Watson shared a snippet from an interview he once gave, which reads: "There is nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage."

#alanrickman pic.twitter.com/4WXwnoUtM7

- Emma Watson (@EmWatson) January 14, 2016

Even though Watson did nothing but share the exact sentences Rickman gave in the interview, she was accused of promoting her own "feminist agenda" through Rickman's passing. 

Fans need to know though that this was never a one-time thing for the actor that Watson just luckily found. He often spoke about women in film and gender equality in his interviews. Case in point, he also told Entertainment Weekly that it is just common sense to be a feminist. He also acknowledged that this is a world that is "incredibly unfair" to women. 

So these are the top five reasons why we, at Celebeat, love Alan Rickman and are saddened by his passing. Adding to these reasons is that Rickman is also a man who can commit and not be afraid of being a one-woman man. Last year, he revealed to Germany's Bild Newspaper (translated by other Western magazines) that he and his long-time partner of almost 50 years, Rima Horton, secretly wed. He met her when he was just 19, and they started to live together since 1977. It may have been a no-fuss ceremony, but it almost sounded perfect from how Rickman described it. 

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