A Conversation with Alan Rickman, Revisited

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Rickman - Courtesy of Nerdist

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About This Episode

In 2012, Neil deGrasse Tyson interviewed Alan Rickman for a 2-part show about the craft of acting, the education system, and much more. We’ve selected our favorite parts from those episodes for this look back. Chuck Nice co-hosts, with guest Charles Liu.

Alan Rickman played Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Metatron, “the voice of the one true God” in Dogma. So what does astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson ask him about? Failing physics in high school, of course. They also talk a little about acting, including how Alan chooses and prepares for his roles, from researching the heart surgeon in Something the Lord Made to the wine-tasting scene in Bottle Shock. You’ll hear Alan explain his sense of responsibility to his audience and what he describes as “the mysterious mechanism of acting and theatre and storytelling.” Neil and Alan also get philosophical about the limits of human perception, the flocking behavior of birds, and the interaction of sound and memory. Guest astrophysicist Charles Liu and comic co-host Chuck Nice are both big fans of Alan Rickman – listen for their “impressions” of some of his most famous lines (“By Grabthar’s Hammer…”) in between their discussions of science and science fiction in studio with Neil.


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