Alan Rickman: The late bloomer

Alan Rickman, the famous English actor, got his first big break in movies when he was 46. He had given up his successful graphic business to become an actor. When the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, in which he was one of the lead actors, became a hit and was made into a movie, everyone involved in it became famous. That is everyone except Alan because his role was played by another actor in the movie!

Alan Rickman


Alan Rickman graduated from college with an art degree and started his own graphic design business. He was doing pretty well when he decided that his true passion was acting. He left his own company and joined an acting class, a pretty risky move.

While pursuing his acting classes, he was in his thirties and was working as a part time dresser. He started doing small roles in plays and this continued for years.

Finally, at the age of 42, Alan landed a role in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He was one of the lead actors and this was his first break. The play went on to become a hit and was later adapted into a movie. Almost everyone involved with the play got a part in the movie and became famous. Well, that is everyone except Alan. His role was played by John Malkovich.

Bad man, Alan.

However, Alan Rickman’s tremendous performance in the show did not go unnoticed. Two years later a producer, Joel Silver, who was very impressed by Alan’s talent, asked him to star as the main villain in his movie.

Alan Rickman went on to become the bad guy and gave life to the badass characters like Hans Gruber and Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series.

Action Summary:

  • The door to success is not always opened on the first knock. However, every knock makes an impact.
  • It is more comfortable to stick to safer options and to retort to practical means. However, listening to one’s heart and consenting to take risks is perhaps what defines one’s destiny.

~ Gitanjali Banerjee