January 20, 2016 7:55 pm

We’re Revisiting Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Conversation with Alan Rickman” this Friday

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Rickman on StarTalk Radio.

Behind the Scenes: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Rickman ready to go on the set of StarTalk Radio in 2012.

David Bowie. Glenn Frey. Alan Rickman. The list of creators who have left us too soon keeps growing, as lists of this nature are wont to do.

We never had the privilege of interviewing David Bowie or Glenn Frey, but we did get the chance to sit down with Alan Rickman back in May of 2012.

That interview ended up becoming a 2-part podcast in Season 4, which also featured guest Charles Liu and co-host Chuck Nice.

We’ve gone back and re-edited some of our favorite segments from that interview into a single episode, which we’re replaying this Friday.

In it, Alan tells host Neil deGrasse Tyson about how he chooses his roles. An important part of his criteria is that it has to be well-written and not insulting to the audience. He talks about his responsibility to that audience in a voice that is at the same time filled with responsibility, gratitude and humility.

If you’re a fan of Alan Rickman’s work, that won’t come as a surprise to you.

But the episode is also filled with some things that might surprise you. For instance, Neil asks Alan if there are any science questions he has, and the actor admits to being fascinated by how birds flock. The pair get into a philosophical conversation about the limitations of human perception and how we’re never really “hearing” a sound, but responding to the memory of that sound.

Just hearing Alan Rickman’s voice again triggered all sorts of memories for me, from the first time I saw him, as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, until the last time I saw him breathe life into the dying Professor Snape, and every time my wife and I re-watch Love, Actually, and all of his roles in between.

It is somehow more poignant when a creator is still putting out great work when they die. Bowie may have just released one of the best albums of his career, Glenn Frey was still rocking it on the “History of the Eagles” 2-year long tour just last year, and we can still look forward to one more performance by Rickman: he plays the Blue Caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is scheduled to be released in May of this year.

Until then, we hope you’ll join us for A Conversation with Alan Rickman, Revisited this Friday January 22nd at 7pm ET on our website, iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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