Hard opened the doors for Alan Rickman, and the offers flooded
in. However, his refusal to be pigeonholed as a villain as led to
a rich but checkered film career... His next film, January
Man (1989) reads like it should have been a success - it had
big name actors like Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and
Harvey Keitel. Rickman played a small role as Kline's sidekick,
but the film was a disappointment.
Down Under (1990), starring the popular actor, Tom Selleck also
sounded should have been a success, and did achieve mediocre popularity,
but it was essentially a poorly written spaghetti western transferred
to the Australian outback. Rickman was the nasty station owner who
hired Quigley to wipe out the local aboriginal population.
run of mediocre films ended in 1991. Rickman appeared in four films
that year. Closet Land, a psychological
thriller starring only Rickman and Madelaine Stowe was the only
film that was not overtly successful. Truly,
Madly, Deeply was billed as Britain's answer to Ghost, and Rickman
played Jamie, a dead lover who returns to his grieving sweetheart
(Juliet Stevenson). He won a couple of awards
for this role. Close My Eyes was
written with Alan Rickman in mind as the cuckolded husband, Sinclair
Bryant. Although the subject matter offended some viewers in this
film, Rickman delivers a supernova performance that gives an enchanting
feel to the entire film.
1991 was to be the year as The Sheriff of Nottingham... The hype
was huge before Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
was even released, Rumors abounded about Kevin Costner being upstaged
by Rickman and ordering many of Rickman's scenes to be slashed from
the resultant movie. Rickman was philosophical about it, expressing
a few regrets to Entertainment
Weekly, in particular he comments, "Unhappily, the scene
in which Geraldine tells me she's my mother, with the two of us
sailing way over the top into another stratosphere and the crew
howling with laughter, ended up on the cutting-room floor," he says.
"That was a shame." And it was he who suggested the hilarious and
memorable scene for spreading Maid Marion's legs as he tries to
consummate their hasty marriage... He was nominated for several
awards as a result of playing The Sheriff
of Nottingham, and won a British Academy Award for Best Supporting
After such a successful year, Rickman was cast as
the lead character in Mesmer (1993),
but the film was never released to a mass audience as the backers
felt the film was not what they had provided money for and promptly
sued. Eventually, the film was released on video in North America
period of 'quietness' followed with Rickman only appearing in Bob
Roberts (1992) with Tim Robbins and An Awfully
Big Adventure (1995) with Hugh Grant. Things began to improve
in 1995 though, with the release of Sense
and Sensibility, where he played the stiff Colonel Brandon.
first starring role since Memser was in the critically acclaimed
HBO television movie, Rasputin (1996).
Rickman's inspired performance of the peasant-monk who is credited
with the bringing down the Russian Empire, saw him win several awards.
After Rasputin, Rickman played supporting roles in
Michael Collins (1996), Judas
Kiss (1998) and directed, The Winter
Guest, which he co-wrote (although he only claims minimal credit
with the screenplay) with Sharman Macdonald. Unfortunately, Judas
Kiss was never properly released and can be found only on video
in North America.