Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alan Rickman on Punk, 'Potter,' and the Likelihood of a 'Galaxy Quest' Sequel

October 9, 2013

In "CBGB," Alan Rickman plays Hilly Kristal, the man who founded the legendary New York City punk bar whose stage helped launch The Ramones, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. The film happens to co-star Rupert Grint (as a member of one of the lesser-known punk bands, The Dead Boys), proof that the "Harry Potter" universe is indeed all-encompassing.

We talked to Rickman about his own relationship to punk (distant), how close he stays to his former Hogswarts charges (fairly close), and just what kind of device he'd need for a "Galaxy Quest" sequel.

What made you want to take on this part?
I thought he was completely fascinating in the sense that he started a club that was supposed to honor country music ["CBGB" stands for "Country, Bluegrass and Blues"], and he never got to play any country music there. Along came punk and he was smart enough and open enough and generous enough to listen to what their point of view was. In fact, he became a kind of father figure to all these wild young things.

How did you get into character?
Lots of videos you can watch of Hilly and some private ones I was given. I was able to just watch him for hours, really, walking, talking, being. [The real Hilly died in 2007.]

Had you ever been to CBGB's?
I haven't, except in its new incarnation as John Varvatos.

Were you a fan of punk music?
Not really, because I was an art student and a drama student in London in the '70s. When you say "punk music," I never thought it included people like David Byrne, but now I know that it does. And also The Police. So I'd have been a bit more down that road than The Dead Boys or Television.

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