->''"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not playing 'the villain.' I'm just playing somebody who wants certain things in life, has made certain choices, and goes after them."''
-->-- on playing amoral mass-murdering corporate thief [[Film/DieHard Hans Gruber]]

For someone who doesn't play villains, he is very, very good at it.

After doing the standard English Man In Hollywood origin full of Creator/WilliamShakespeare, theatre and single episode spots on the television, '''Alan Rickman''' (February 21, 1946-) managed to move over to the USA by serving his revenge cold as the Vicomte de Valmont (a very interesting man with some questionable morals) in ''[[Literature/DangerousLiaisons Les Liaisons Dangereuses]]'' on Broadway. He also starred in ''Film/TrulyMadlyDeeply'', a cultured version of ''Film/{{Ghost}}''. Then his first big screen role was the lovable MagnificentBastard Hans Gruber in ''Film/DieHard'' who set up a BatmanGambit in order to steal 600 million dollars in negotiable bearer bonds. He had to kill a few people to get the money which was certainly not very nice but he did so with memorable {{Bond One Liner}}s, and personally ad-libbed the infamous "Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life."

There is also [[LargeHam the pantomime villain]] Sheriff of Nottingham in ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', who proved to be a better thief than that Costner fellow by stealing every scene he was in. Deliciously villainous and by far the most interesting character in the movie.

Also while Severus Snape in the ''Film/HarryPotter'' films is meant to be a [[JerkassWoobie sympathetic bastard with a not so happy past]] for some reason, people keep feeling sorry for him and see him [[TheWoobie as a normal guy who just need a hug]] regardless and well as feeling [[DracoInLeatherPants a few other things]].

He also played a bad guy in ''Film/QuigleyDownUnder'', as well as Judge Turpin in the 2007 Tim Burton film version of ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''. Still there are plenty of clearly not villainous, still very interesting roles that he has done.

He played Colonel Brandon in a film adaptation of ''Film/SenseAndSensibility''. He played, of all things, a painter named Ed in the 1989 "JanuaryMan". He was the Metatron, the angel people are really speaking to when they claim to speak to God[[note]]Or they're just talking to themselves[[/note]], in ''{{Dogma}}'' (appearing first on screen while on fire is certainly interesting), a role which he took after being a fan of Creator/KevinSmith's ''Chasing Amy'' but which he took with one strict condition: don't change anything in the script. He was also the voice of Marvin in the 2005 film version of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. In 1999 he starred in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', where he played a Shakespearean actor slumming it in sci-fi. In 2003, he played a caring yet utterly deadpan office boss who may or may not have [[LoveActually had an affair with his assistant]]. He also played UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan in ''[[Film/TheButler Lee Daniels' The Butler]]''.

He also [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw6Swr-ME40 recites poetry ]]. ''[[InsistentTerminology Very interesting]]'' poetry. And he makes [[http://io9.com/5935919/alan-rickman-is-awesome-even-when-hes-making-tea-in-extreme-slow+motion tea]] in a ''very interesting'' way.

He also helped compile the one-woman play ''My Name Is Rachel Corrie'' out of the letters, emails, and journals of the title character. As of 2015, he has directed two films, ''The Winter Guest'' and ''A Little Chaos''.

A classic anecdote told by John Sessions on {{QI}}, as seen [[http://youtu.be/Pc3OyvbJkj4 here]] describes Alan's views on his roles. The quote is at 2:40, but Sessions is doing an impression for most of the clip.


!!'''Mr. Rickman provides ''very interesting'' examples of:'''
* BadassBaritone: One of the reasons he's consistently chosen for villain roles.
* ChronicallyKilledActor: A part of being a villain is that you're probably going to be dead by movie's end.
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: His character in ''Film/GalaxyQuest''. Averted in real life as he seems to very much enjoy being action villains and snarky wizards.
* DramaticPause: Is... a... big... ''fan''.
* EvilBrit: One of the Trope makers.
* EvilSoundsDeep: See BadassBaritone above.
* FakeAmerican: His most iconic part in ''Film/DieHard'', he has also used it on a guest spot in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''.
* LargeHam: In addition to being [[RunningGag very interesting people]], his roles also frequently tend to be this.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: Look through his filmography on Website/{{IMDb}}. It includes [[MagnificentBastard Hans]] [[Film/DieHard Gruber]], [[Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves The Sheriff of Nottingham]], [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Alexander]] [[Film/GalaxyQuest Dane]], [[{{Jerkass}} Severus]] [[Film/HarryPotter Snape]], and Rasputin, who is... ''Rasputin''. Off-screen, Rickman is a low-key, modest man who stays out of the limelight, avoids the paparazzi, and when it comes to his fans, he's a giant freaking teddy bear, quick with the jokes and hugs.
* ThoseTwoActors: With Creator/EmmaThompson.

-->''When Alan saw the breadth of his article, he wept, for there were no more Tropes to conquer.''