Why I loved… David Bowie and Alan Rickman (R.I.P.)

It’s been a while since I wrote any of my „Why I love“-articles. But as I started the „Why I loved…“-version with Philip Seymour Hoffman in English, hoping it wouldn’t have to be used that often, I feel it’s time to continue with this „tradition“.

Just seconds ago I read the news that Alan Rickman has died of cancer at the age of 69 – just like David Bowie did a few days ago. What a sad beginning of 2016 – on top of everything else that’s going on in the world…

So, why did I love David Bowie?

I admit I haven’t been a most ardent fan of his – but I’ve always had an enormous respect for him and his music and admired his uniqueness in the music business. Quite recently – maybe a year ago? – I watched a documentary about his early years, especially his Ziggy Stardust-phase. There just wasn’t anyone like him (somehow to me he is the male equivalent to Tilda Swinton – or the other way round) – and some of his songs have become truly iconic!

When I was a teenager I especially liked „China Girl“ finding both his voice and the video extremely sexy. Unfortunately I can’t find the original video on YouTube… Listen anyway:

Rest in peace, David Bowie, thank you for not conforming to mainstream image!

And Alan Rickman – most beloved villain?!

I don’t know how many villains he played since his Hans Gruber in Die Hard made him a star. As I’m old enough to have seen this performance back when the movie was in the theaters, I can safely say that this was my first Rickman experience. Even though many years, well, decades have passed since then, the impression he left made me – and many others – put him in the Top 10 of the best villains. He was always the perfect choice as the bad guy: He played the Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood and – of course – Professor Snape (who wasn’t that bad after all…) in the Harry Potter franchise, showed his tremendous comic talent in Galaxy Quest, and couldn’t quite resist the charme of his (German) employee (Heike Makatsch) in Love Actually, thus „inadvertently“ hurting his wife deeply, pulling off the feat that you could still empathize with him, not playing the character as a villain this time, but as a sometimes weak human being who is being tempted by a younger woman but still loves his wife at heart.

He would have been someone I would have flown to London for to see him live on stage – unfortunately I’m too late for that.

Thank you for creating characters that people will speak of in years to come, Alan Rickman, and may you rest in peace!