British actor Alan Rickman died on Thursday at age 69, but his roles will keep him alive forever
Believe it or not, Rickman's full name was Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman and he was one of the most dedicated actors and directors of his generation. He was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Through the years, he portrayed some memorable characters, such as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. But the role men will forever remember his for is his portrayal of suave and calm robber/terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the perfect foil to Bruce Willis' John McClane.
Rickman's final film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, will be released in May this year, but we pay tribute to the man with this scene that's etched in our minds. In fact, this shot was a bit of a shocker for Rickman. According to CineFix's 7 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Die Hard, published in 2014, that's because Rickman didn't know the drop was coming: On this shot, when Hans falls from the ledge, the reaction is pretty priceless, right? It's priceless not just because Alan Rickman is a great actor, which he is, but because that is genuine shock and terror on his face. Rickman agreed to do the fall for real from 25 feet high onto an airbag.
Well, before the fall, they told him they'd count down from "3...2...1..go" and then release him on go. Rickman agreed and then prepared himself mentally for the stunt, but on the first take, instead of releasing him on 'go', they released him on 'one.' CineFix was right: Despite Rickman's acting prowess, his shocked reaction is absolutely priceless.