Dame Helen Mirren pays tribute to Alan Rickman: 'He was very twinkly and kind and gossipy'

The actors both worked together on a play in 1998

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The Independent Online

Dame Helen Mirren has paid tribute to her friend Alan Rickman by recalling his “twinkly and gossipy” ways.

Rickman's death was reported on Thursday. He died aged 69 following an illness with cancer. Many of his colleagues including Emma Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson soon spoke of their sadness of his passing and recalled their fondest memories with the actor.

Now Mirren, who starred alongside the thespian in a rendition of Antony and Cleopatra in 1998, has paid a fitting tribute in an article for the Hollywood Reporter.

Mirren recalled how following Antony and Cleopatra Rickman presented her with an antique bracelet which wasn’t “anything new… a little broken and just absolutely beautiful”.

Rickman and Mirren in Antony and Cleopatra

This is apparently something very typical of Rickman, who according to Mirren was “very collegiate and collaborative” and “supportive of other actors always,” something Radcliffe agreed with in his tribute which credited Rickman for treating him as a peer "rather than a child” on the set of Harry Potter.

Mirren also revealed how Rickman was a bit of a gossip and enjoyed going to restaurants to “drink some wine and gossip about actors and acting, directors and plays”.

Rickman only made his film debut at the age of 41, playing Bruce Willis’ rival Hans Gruber in the 1988 classic Die Hard.

Though typically at an age later than most actors begin their career, Mirren wrote how this wasn’t to his disadvantage.

“There are certain actors who are going to be better when they are older than when they are younger… Alan was one of those people who grew into it. He needed to get into his 30s really before the way he was, the weight of his personality, his particular kind of power, his particular kind of character worked better in maturity, I think.”

Mirren also expressed her upset that although they both starred in Eye in the Sky, which will be released in April, they were shooting in different locations so sadly "never got to work together or go to a restaurant together".