Alan Rickman talks his career, new movie in New Interviews

"A Little Chaos" - Offical Screening:  58th BFI London Film Festival

Jun 27, 2015

Posted by: Catherine | Comments

News, Rickman Interviews

A Little Chaos was released limitedly in the U.S. yesterday. In two new interviews, Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) talks about his new film, his career, and what he is up to next. In the recent interview with Buzz Feed, Rickman talked of “strong brilliant women” (specifically Kate Winslet and J.K. Rowling) and revealed how little he knew of what was going on in the world of Potter today: Fantastist Beasts, what’s that? BuzzFeed reports:

“You directed and acted in the film. What were some of the obstacles you faced juggling both jobs?

I wasn’t acting in it too much. So that was the first clever decision I made. I’m not in it too much, so I don’t need to worry about it overly. I think when you’re making a film, especially when a lot of it is outdoors and you’re in England, you’re staring at the sky a lot. And then you’re staring at your watch a lot. And then there are a lot of other people looking in their wallets a lot. So it’s the usual thing. They are the obstacles, and they’re the ones you need to jump over all the time.
Was there a time in your career when you had a major setback? What pushed you through?
You could ask any actor about their early days, and I think you know — if you decide you’re going to do it, and then you train and you’ve committed — you know there are going to be long periods out of work. And I wasn’t different than anybody else. I know there are some lucky young actors now, they get made a star in a minute, and you worry a little for the moment when that gets snatched away. It’s a different world now. I don’t remember it now, but I’m sure the difficult moments made me stronger, or at least that’s what I’ve trained myself to think.

How has your relationship with Kate Winslet changed, and grown, since you filmed Sense and Sensibility together 20 years ago?

She’s still the same great human being, but there’s a lot of life history with her now, and three children. She was 19 — you can write the story really: There’s a 19-year-old girl and here’s a 40-year-old woman with three children and all sorts of dear-diary entries. I am the beneficiary of having a thinking, feeling, strong-minded, brilliant woman on the set. All of those things were true then, but she was 19 years old.

We are very excited about J.K. Rowling’s new movieThe Fantastic Beasts–

See, I didn’t even know what it was called!

What do you think she’ll bring to the table as a screenwriter?

Is she going to write the screenplay? I didn’t know that. Talk about smart, strong-minded, brilliant women — there’s another one, and she’ll make damn sure it’s worth waiting for.”

To read more, and about which wig Alan Rickman preferred (Louis XVI or Snape’s?) click here.
In an interview with Oregon Live, Rickman discussed how he chooses the projects he will take on as an actor/director…or rather, how the projects choose him (similar to the experience of buying his wand at Mr. Ollivander’s). Rickman discussed his different experiences of working in CGI movies and classic theater, as well as what he is working on next. Oregon Live reports:
“How did you get involved in a movie about the construction of a garden at Versailles?

How indeed? I should probably need to be arrested for saying yes to a project like that were it not for the fact that at its heart it’s a love story and a subtle one and a slow-burning one that needed the right context for it to live properly. That’s what I recognized on the page. Then it became kind of a compulsion to do it, really, because less and less time is being taken onscreen with relationship films. It takes a lot these days to get into bed together.

Did you always want to direct it?

I think as time went on, yes. I spent a lot of time working with the writer, Alison Deegan, but I was directing in the theater during that period. I wasn’t free to direct a movie until I finished with Harry Potter responsibilities. I had spent a lot of time with her just kind of being a structural engineer with the script, and then as time went on it slipped into a kind of inevitability.

What about the casting? Did you always know who you wanted to play King Louis XIV?

Certainly not me! (Laughs) As time goes by and you get close to being able to shoot it and Kate is free and her schedule is open … the budget would be helped immeasurably if you have a Louis that you didn’t have to pay (laughs).

Is it a weird feeling to watch yourself onscreen, especially as a director?

It’s awful. I haven’t got any alternative, though. I was saying to somebody else recently that vanity goes out the window very quickly because you have what you have and it’s “Unflattering lighting? Hard luck.” You’ve just got to use it. Working with an editor is the most crucial relationship and you’ve got to become objective about yourself. You sort of become another person.

After so much time working on the Harry Potter movies, were you looking to do something different?

I did do lots of different things the whole time. For example, while I was shooting Harry Potter I was also appearing in “Private Lives” in London on the West End and on Broadway, and I was making things like “Sweeney Todd” and “Love Actually” and “Snow Cake” and other movies. I was directing in the theater as well, Strindberg and a modern play about Israel and Palestine.

In a way, they choose you, projects. I don’t know that I was looking to do something set in the French 17th century but it happened.

What are you working on now?

Well, I’ve done my contribution to the latest Alice in Wonderland film. And now for something completely different, I am the caterpillar again (laughs). I’ve got a film called “Eye in the Sky” which is a film about the moral responsibilities governments face regarding the use of drones.

You know, Shakespeare is forever and CGI is very recent. What are the challenges of working in special effects movies like Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland for an actor?

When you’re on set, usually you’ve got some lines or something to say and you’re saying it to someone and it’s being photographed, and your job is to make it believable, to have a real conversation with somebody, whatever the agenda is. Usually the CGI is all going on behind you and it’s green and has orange crosses on it. You’re not looking at it. You’re looking at about 100 people with clipboards and behind cameras and holding meters and lights. In a way, that captive audience is like being in the theater. However sophisticated it gets, you don’t know what it’s going to look like. What you’re looking at doesn’t change. It’s still a film set of people which is a bit like an audience so really what’s happening inside your head is the same.”

Rickman goes on to discuss being recognized in public (or not!) after being in the Harry Potter spotlight, as well as looking back on all that he has done in his career. The rest of the article can be read here.





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