Alan Rickman was born and raised in London, England.

Rickman had an upbringing of mixed religious heritage. His mother was a Methodist of Welsh descent and his father was an Irish Catholic.1 Rickman’s father died when he was eight years-old,2 so it’s reasonable to assume that Methodism was more influential in his life than Catholicism.

However, Rickman–who doesn’t really like to talk about his personal life3 –hasn’t gotten into his own, adult spiritual beliefs. Plus, he played God’s messenger in the Catholic-inspired comedy, Dogma, and didn’t seem to bat an eye at the controversy that swirled around it.4

As far as I can tell, Rickman has only commented on his “religion” by likening his involvement with live theatre to his own, personal spiritual calling.5 I don’t have an interpretation for this–perhaps he’s an atheist or perhaps it was just a metaphor for him to describe how much he loves theatre.

Labour by association

Rickman is widely cited as a Labour supporter.67 But passion for politics is something Rickman says has cooled in his life as he’s grown older, seemingly because he’s tired of rhetoric and politicians talking the talk:

I find myself becoming less and less enamoured of public statement – I’d rather see it in action.8

But his girlfriend of nearly 40 years, Rima Horton, is an economist and Labour politician.9 I imagine it’s a very politically-aware relationship.

Rickman has been known to get annoyed when politics gets in the way of his “religion.” When a play he was directing about an activist protesting Israel’s involvement in the Gaza Strip was cancelled for political sensitivity issues, Rickman didn’t mince words:

This is censorship born out of fear, and the New York Theatre Workshop, the Royal Court, New York audiences – all of us are the losers.10

So, between that and Dogma, Rickman isn’t afraid to get into controversy, and he exercises his rights. Good on him.

  1. Interview: Angel with Horns – The Guardian. Alan Rickman. []
  2. Alan Rickman – Biography. IMDb. []
  3. Rickman never mixes acting with personal life. Goerie. []
  4. A Practicing Catholic On The Religious Storm Of ‘Dogma.’ Chicago Tribune. []
  5. Alan Rickman: Theatre is my religion… YouTube. []
  6. Alan Rickman – Biography. IMDb. []
  7. Alan Rickman Supports Labour. Tha London Diaries. []
  8. Interview: Angel with Horns – The Guardian. Alan Rickman. []
  9. Rima Horton. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. []
  10. Rickman slams ‘censorship’ of play about US Gaza activist. The Guardian. []