Alan Rickman is a British actor who can segue effortlessly as Professor Skape in the Harry Potter franchise, to a collection of diverse characters in the likes of the original Die Hard, Love Actually, Truly, Madly, Deeply, Sense and Sensibility and the unforgettable Galaxy Quest.
Rickman is in New York for the premiere of his latest film, Snow Cake, in which he re-teams with Sigourney Weaver in a slice-of-life drama in which he plays a traumatized car accident victim. Rickman took time out of s hectic schedule to talk to Paul Fischer.
Question: Is it a refreshing pace for you to go from a Harry Potter to a Snow Cake?
Rickman: Variety is definitely one of life's spices.
Question: What's your best take on Alex Hughes, your character in Snow Cake?
Rickman: There was a screening of Snow Cake during which at one point Niv Fichman the producer said of Alex 'he's just doing his best isn't he'.
Question: This is a very intense character, someone filled with such trauma. What difficulties did you have getting into him?
Rickman: My first scene on the film was helped by being soaking wet, through the night, outside, in the cold.
Question: Was this a character you found easy or difficult to identify with? How?
Rickman: Not just for me no. It has already been proved to connect very strongly with an audience.
Question: These emotionally complex dramas aren't an easy sell. You clearly choose something such as this purely for yourself, yes?
Rickman: Acting is largely instinctive and reactive. Alex knows nothing and learns everything, which in a way is the metaphorical answer for this question.
Question: Now when you first signed on for the first Potter film, did you have any expectations?
Rickman: I think Harry Potter should remain the secret domain of children of all ages of course) for as long as possible.
Question: Talk about Sweeney Todd. Who do you play and how exciting is it for you to be part of this dark musical?
Rickman: I play Judge Turpin. It's been great to do. Stephen Sondheim is a genius and Tim Burton is no slouch either.
Question: Will we see you strut your musical talents?
Rickman: You will certainly have to put up with my singing.
Question: Are you still attached to The Villa Golitsyn? What is that?
Rickman: Yes, it's a great script. Peter Medak will direct, we hope.
Question: What's next?
Rickman: Nobel Son is still to come out and I hope to be doing a new film from its director Randall Miller this summer.