Bingo square: You Are Here (Library book)
Alan Rickman was a wonderful actor, in some of my favourite films. Die Hard, of course, his first film role. But also Galaxy Quest, Sense & Sensibility. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He kept diaries for many years, and after his death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, they were published. They are often short entries, notes on where he is, what he’s doing, who he’s with. Often on a plane, battling jetlag, on to the next piece of work. Many a famous person pops up in here, either as a dinner guest reference, or someone he saw at an award show or play. But there are quieter moments with his long term partner (and later wife) Rima Horton.
I mostly wish I hadn’t read this. The foreword tells us the editor doesn’t know what Rickman would have wanted done with his diaries. He did not leave explicit word to have them published. But one can assume from Rima Horton’s afterword that she gave her blessing. But I’m not sure why. They don’t tell us much about the man, or the amazing life he lived. Apparently he was a man of such confidences he didn’t even write things in his diary. Little to no description of anything, not his films, or how he felt about them, what his process was for choosing them. It’s mean of me to complain about what isn’t here, I know. It isn’t that I want salacious gossip, it’s that you’d think you’d get a better sense of someone from years of their diaries, and yet I didn’t.
I also feel for the various people who are mentioned, and wonder whether they are ok with it? Some are famous, others much less so. Are they ok with his asides about them? And I struggled with the editor’s choices of what was explained in footnotes and what wasn’t. Big names that to me didn’t need to be explained were given one, but names I’d never heard of were not. Little context is offered about where Rickman is in his stage of life, so I spent a good bunch of time on IMDB trying to work it out. He’s onto a project never mentioned before which must have been brewing in the background for some time. It’s frustrating.
So yes, it’s mean of me to be annoyed by what I wanted and didn’t get (as a fan of certain films I would have loved more about his time spent on those sets), but still, I can’t help being disappointed. I shall maybe watch some of his films as a reminder of how good he was, and what was lost.