The tragedy of the entertainment industry is how quickly they will overlook their greatest performers when they have been deemed "too old" by the industry. Who decides, exactly, who is too old? And what, exactly, are they "too old" for? To be a leading man, or to play a love interest? As a great movie enthusiast, I believe that Hollywood's standards are quite different from that of the movie-goers.
Take, for instance, one of my very favorite actors, Alan Rickman. Mr. Rickman is now 65 years old. By the standards of the industry, his time in certain roles is passed, and other roles will more than likely continue to dwindle with each new year. But why? Mr. Rickman is certainly, by anyone's standards, a truly great actor. He is seasoned, professional, and actually quite brilliant. His talent is unsurpassed. His versatility and ability to breathe life into his characters is unrivaled. His performances stimulate both the body and the mind. But, more importantly, he possesses qualities that most actors, more than half his age, do not.
To put Mr. Rickman in movies where he only gets to portray a grandfather, or some other minor character, would be a great disservice, not only to him and his fans, but to Hollywood. It is time that Hollywood recognize the service of the truly great actors of our time. Far too much importance is placed on things of irrelevance, and great performers get pushed to the side simply because they have grown older. What has become of the industry when it overlooks superior talent for the sake of something they consider more visually appealing?
Which leads me to my next point. Who is deciding what the audience considers "visually appealing"? Certainly, it is not the fans. One internet search would reveal thousands of comments from women all over the world, of all different ages, who still recognize the appeal of Alan Rickman. Any one of them would jump at the chance to play his love interest in a movie. Why? Because he has an "it" factor that is rare and enticing to both women and men of all ages.
Mr. Rickman has a universal appeal. Men love him for his calm and cool demeanor. He is a class-act, and one that is hard to follow. He emits a quiet self-confidence, but not arrogance; pride, but not entitlement. Whether he plays his roles as villain or hero, men are drawn to his characters, hoping to see a little of themselves inside. But it is more than just the characters he plays...it is the man, himself. They find themselves not envying him, but admiring him. They either want him, or want to be him. And that is how Hollywood legends are made.
Women, too, are very responsive to Mr. Rickman. I have heard many reports that credit his unusually seductive voice for that response. Again, I have to differ. While it is true that his voice is, indeed, one of his many attractive qualities, it is much more than that. Alan Rickman exudes sex-appeal. He embodies it. It is a part of him, completely unforced and, dare I say unintentional, which makes him all the more desirable.
His eyes are completely and utterly hypnotic. He mesmerizes with his lips, the way he stresses his words, and, yes...with that sultry voice that makes your heart beat faster. He enchants you with the way he walks and carries himself, whether it be with the powerful stride or his comfortable stroll. His facial expressions, and the way his body moves is spellbinding. Even the way he moves his hands is provocative, whether it be when he lightly strokes across an object, or when he absentmindedly places his fingers to his lips in concentration. His mere presence captivates you...seduces you...enraptures you. It is inborn in him. It is a raw sexuality that cannot be faked or performed. And it is something terribly lacking in most younger actors.
Audiences around the world respond to the sexual charisma of Alan Rickman. He brings that quality with him, even to the most unsuspecting roles. For instance, his most popular role to date, Professor Snape, was not intended to be a "sexy" character. But by placing Mr. Rickman in that role, one could not help but be drawn to the sexuality that he exuded, albeit, unconsciously. Professor Snape was also named as the most beloved Harry Potter character. Coincedence? I think not. And if one does not agree, please feel free to google what the response to that character, and to Mr. Rickman, was. Or, search youtube for the many admiring and very sexually-charged videos you will find. Whether or not Snape was intended to be a sexual character, he became one...and the movie was rewarded for that.
Hollywood take note: if you have doubts about whether or not someone should be passed over for a role simply because of their age...google is your friend. I think you would be surprised what you find there. One thing that you have gotten right is that sex sells...but not quite the way you think it does. It does not possess the qualities that you think it does. And it does not age the way you think it does. Mr. Rickman, for example, has not only aged...he has become exotic.
When you consider the truest Hollywood legends, what quality do they all possess? The raw, natural sexuality that doesn't die in time, but continues to grow stronger...and is never forced. They are like fine wine. As they age, they become even more intoxicating, leave you breathless and wanting more. They leave behind their legacies, so that even future generations can be impacted by their greatness, their beauty, and their passion. There is much beauty in Hollywood, but very few that possess that kind of allure. Now that you have that in your grasp, are you going to appreciate him and allow him to give you some of the best performances of our time? Or are you going to deem him "too old", even when the rest of the world disagrees? The choice should be an easy one to make.