In what was reportedly Alan Rickman’s last television interview before his untimely passing earlier this month, the accomplished actor shows a lighter side on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show as the pair conduct the interview with mouths full of helium.
Aired last summer, about six months prior to his death, Rickman walks on stage with two balloons in hand and proceeds to chastise the late night talk show host for a previous interview he did with another British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. In the interview, from 2013, Fallon and Cumberbatch have what they call a “Rickman-off,” trying to out-do one another by reciting rap song lyrics while doing their best Rickman impressions. The clip (below) is worth a watch.
In his own appearance, Rickman requests that Fallon apologize for imitating him, but in a high-pitched helium voice. And they both continue on with the interview like giggling school boys, inhaling a bit of helium before they speak. Hearing Rickman — who had a notably sophisticated and dramatic voice — say “Harry Potter” in a shrill tone is worth the watch alone. But it’s also nice to see Rickman present a softer, humorous side.
Rickman had a long and storied acting career that spanned almost half his 69 years, and included both Hollywood and stage performances. Some of his most notable films include Die Hard, Galaxy Quest, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and, of course, his storied run as Severus Snape in all eight films in the Harry Potter franchise. Just off the heels of the holiday season, we can’t forget his starring role in the ensemble holiday rom-com Love, Actually either. In addition to the extensive acting work, Rickman also directed two movies, The Winter Guest (1997) and A Little Chaos (2014), also serving as co-writer for the screenplays.
He passed away on Thursday, January 14 after a battle with cancer. While Rickman will be sorely missed, we’ll still get to see him flex those acting chops a final time in two projects that will be arriving in theaters this year: Eye in the Sky, a Rickman-starring war thriller will be in theaters on March 11, and we’ll get to hear that signature voice (no helium this time) as Blue Caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, which premieres May 27.