By now, you’ve probably seen the trailer for A Little Chaos, the film about a landscaper at Versailles (played by Kate Winslet) hired by King Louis XIV (played by Alan Rickman). It’s due in theaters March 27, 2015, and the costume designer is Joan Bergin. But did you know that Alan Rickman not only stars, he wrote and directed this movie? Because he’s just that awesome. This is the second feature he’s written and directed, having also made a small Scottish film in 1997 called The Winter Guest starring Emma Thompson.
Of course, Mr. Awesome, I mean, Alan, Rickman can do no wrong to me. He has a vast and varied film and TV career that includes some particularly sexy roles in historical costume. Maybe not your typical down ‘n dirty hotness, but those smoldering eyes and that voice, omg, that voice! He could read the phonebook and make me melt. So here’s some historical Alan Rickman man-candy for this Monday.
Thérèse Raquin (1980)
He has a small role in this 19th-century BBC/Masterpiece Theater historical costume miniseries. It’s an inauspicious start, but don’t let this grainy image fool you. The Alan Rickman historical costume movies will heat up a lot when we get to the 1990s, oh yes, they will.
The Barchester Chronicles (1982)
I don’t remember if this BBC adaption of an Anthony Trollope novel ever crossed the pond to PBS. It’s another small role, but again Alan Rickman will get better parts in historical costume movies. This is like long, slow, extended foreplay. Makes it all that much better when he dives in.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1985-87)
Not a screen version, but the Royal Shakespeare Company play and then the Broadway play. Rickman played the Vicomte de Valmont and earned a Tony Award nomination. It was a big breakout role, and just look at this…
With a spoon, because it’ll hurt more! Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham is freakin’ ah-may-zing! He’s a bad-ass. He’s OTT. He’s wearing all black, with leather and studs. He’s funny. He’s sexy. And you really want him to win over namby-pamby Kevin Costner and his troop of losers. I hear Kendra in the background whinging about the ‘stache looking porn-y, but shaddup, it works here. He’s hardcore. He’s gonna hurt you, and you’ll like it. And he’s cancelling Christmas!
As in “I am mesmerized by your super-hotness, Mr. Rickman.” Not exactly a prize-winning film, but hello nurse, it’s got Alan Rickman in a fluffy cravat in the 18th-century, so no complaints from me. Sadly, the movie doesn’t appear to be available for streaming online (legally), and the DVD is out of print now. Luckily, the Interwebs are full of yummy pix! Alan Rickman in historical costume, FTW.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
YES YES YES. All through the movie, I want to slap Marianne and say, “wake up, silly, there’s a fantastic man in love with you, get over that rake Willoughby, and stop ignoring Colonel Awesome Brandon!” OK, it’d be a much shorter story if she did that right away, and then we wouldn’t have Alan Rickman’s intense, but quiet, longing, which just makes you love him all the more. If you don’t adore him because of this movie alone, you must be made of ice.
Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996)
An HBO film about everyone’s favorite mad monk. Alan Rickman won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for his portrayal of Rasputin. We always knew the Russian monk was a horn-dog, and finally, someone plays him appropriately. And while Rickman has the required beard, it’s not the crazy ZZ Top thing that historical movies typically stick on Rasputin, so it looks more realistic, and you can still see some Rickman hotness going on.
Michael Collins (1996)
Alan Rickman plays Éamon de Valera, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, with Michael Collins in this historical film. The movie rather unfairly blames de Valera for Collins’ death, but Rickman turns in a fine performance. Also, he looks really cute in these glasses, don’t you think?
Harry Potter series (2001-11)
These aren’t historical costume movies, but I have to include them because Alan Rickman as Severus Snape is one of the best things about Harry Potter. His performance is stellar, and Rickman looks divine. He’s a bitter ElderGoth, with a secretly good heart that’s only discovered that the very end. With his flowing black robes and all those tiny buttons, the raft of black hair over his tragically care-worn face, oh, Severus, you are a dark god!
About this point in time, we’re starting to see Alan Rickman playing older roles. He’s always played a lot of villains (hawt, hawt villains), but now he’s being given parts as fathers and older husbands. Set in the 18th century, here Rickman is the father of the targeted girl. While the part isn’t meant to be sexy, Alan Rickman still looks fabulous in historical costume and he has quite a nice period wig.
Another bad guy, but in a great historical costume! Rickman plays Judge Turpin, who pretty much did everything to make Sweeney Todd’s life go to hell. Rickman and Johnny Depp sing “Pretty Woman” together. Omg, that man, he can do everything!
A Promise (2013)
An obscure little movie set on the eve of World War I in Germany, where Alan Rickman plays a husband who gets cheated on by his much younger wife. Poor Mr. Rickman, I’d never cheat on you! I don’t care that you’re older than me! OK, we’re both hooked up with other people, but y’know… (in reality, Alan Rickman has been with the same woman since 1965, his first girlfriend, Rima Horton, who’s been a Labour Party councilor and an economics lecturer; they’ve lived together since 1977, aren’t married, and don’t have kids; damn, he really is my perfect boyfriend, I mean, other than my actual husband sigh).
A Little Chaos (2014)
Writer, director, Sun King. It’s Alan Rickman’s world, we only live in it.
What’s your favorite Alan Rickman historical costume movie? What do you think about his other roles?