We all try to project a bit, don’t we? We try to imagine what life will be like when we reach 20, 30, 40, or where we will be when the New Year starts, or such. I remember believing as a child that when 1999 rolled around, I’d be living on the Moon.
When things surprise us, really surprise us, it is a shock to the system. I remember wondering to myself many years ago how things would turn out for some old ex or other, and to my amazement discovered I was absolutely right. He did end up an old louche in a bar. Ah, bless.
Still, never saw this one coming. Some of you know about me and Alan Rickman. We’ve been in love for years, if only in my head. I saw him in Die Hard, loved him. Saw him in Truly Madly Deeply, loved him. Harassed him for an autograph on the set of Michael Collins. He did that speech of De Valera six times. The first time he silenced all four thousand extras with the perfection of his performance. Four thousand people, with slack jaws, because of him.
Got to see him, and meet him, at his performance of Borkman in the Abbey. He was perfection, and wonderful, and nice to everyone. I heard afterwards that some workers in the Abbey nearly resigned over the egos during that play, I hope he wasn’t one of them.
When my book was written I was stupid or brave enough to send him a copy. An astonishingly nice letter came back saying that he had it and that he was grateful for it. He didn’t know me, or owe me anything. If he was faking manners or gratitude he was very good at it.
He was interesting and rare and very very good at what he did. He was also a construct; He was not upper middle class at all. He was working class, pure and simple. His Dad was Irish Catholic. He got to a good school. He started late, and went to RADA in his late twenties. His first film role was in his forties.
I will miss wondering what he is in now. I will miss seeing his face get older as mine gets older, I will miss his voice. I will miss him like an old friend and I don’t deserve to at all. I am not his friend, was never his friend. Doesn’t matter.
Will still miss him.
The poem here starts at 3.21. Night night Alan. God bless.