Alan Rickman is a British actor with a long and illustrious career. His latest film, CBGB, tells the story of the establishment of the famous New York music club of the same name. in it, Rickman plays Hilly Kristal, the club owner with a dream of bringing bluegrass, country and blues music to a lower Eastside district. When no one from those genres was really interested in performing there, CBGB instead became the place to go to see up and coming punks and rockers.
All bands had to perform their own material – no cover versions allowed – and such big names as Blondie, The Police, Talking Heads, The Ramones and Patti Smith Group all got some of their first gigs at the venue.
Featuring a performance by Rickman’s Harry Potter co-star, Rupert Grint, as the guitarist for The Dead Boys, Rickman’s latest feature is due out in America later this year. If you can’t wait that long, in the meantime, check out one of Rickman’s other classic performances.
Kevin Smith wrote and directed Dogma, a 1999 comedy that he also appeared in alongside such big names as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes and, of course, Alan Rickman. It tells the story of two fallen angels, Bartleby and Loki (played by Affleck and Damon) looking to exploit a loophole in Catholic dogma that would allow them to return to Heaven. However, their plot is a threat to the existence of the universe, since God is supposed to be infallible and if their plans succeed, it would prove that He isn’t and so all of His work would be undone.
Rickman plays the Metatron, the Voice of God, who appears to Bethany Sloane, the last descendent of Jesus, to task her with saving the human race. Before filming began, Smith warned his co-star Jason Mewes, who played Jay in Dogma and a number of other films directed by Smith, that he needed to be at his best because of the casting of ‘real actors’ such as Rickman. As a consequence, Mewes memorised the entire script, not just his lines, because he didn’t want to annoy ‘that Rickman dude.’
Rickman’s portrayal of the Metatron features his British acerbic sarcasm and is classic Rickman. In a film that features a wide ensemble of talented actors, the scene in which he first appears to Bethany is one you can watch time and again.