The issue of access to acting opportunities for anyone who isn’t a rich, white man in modern times has come up recently with James McAvoy pledging £125,000 to The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to fund talent for those under 25 who cannot afford the drama school fees and Christopher Eccleston pointing out in a recent interview that if he was entering acting now it would be so much harder for him as a working class actor. Inequality within the film industry is a definite issue but it definitely isn’t impossible to make it as an actor if you’re not from a high socio-economic background. One such examples is the talented Alan Rickman. He was born in 1946 on a council estate in Acton, West London to his unemployed Mum and his father who was a factory worker who would die when Rickman was 8. He ended up attending Latymer Upper School on a scholarship and would go on to get a degree at Royal College of Art. He ran a successful graphics design business he set up before his love of theatre got him to audition and get a scholarship for Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He’s worked hard to get to where he is and to celebrate the release of the film A Little Chaos which he starred in and directed, here’s an essentials list of Alan Rickman films you must go watch.
Honourable Mention: Die Hard. I’m totally aware of the cult following his character Hans Gruber received when Die Hard hit the cinema screens but there are two excellent reasons why it wasn’t included in the Essentials list. The first reason is that I’ve only seen Die Hard once many years ago so my memory of the film is limited hence I feel I can’t adequately comment on it. Secondly, and most importantly, these Rickman performances in these films made a genuine impact on audiences including myself. I felt they deserved commentary and recommendation on their own merits.