His countless friends within the industry praised his humour, wit, and presence on stage, screen and as a director following his death from cancer aged 69. In her own tributes, Watson celebrated Rickman’s life by highlighting his singular talent and the friendship they shared after acting in eight films together.
The Harry Potter actress grew up on the set of the film series alongside Rickman, whose most recognisable role came in the form of the formidable potions master Severus Snape. She remembered “the special man and actor” affectionately, writing: “I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.”
In a Twitter tribute, Watson highlighted Rickman's pride in identifying as a feminist by sharing a snippet from an interview he once gave: “There is nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage.” Her tweet was an exact quote but Watson, a Goodwill ambassador for the UN and advocate of gender equality with her He for She campaign, still found herself accused of exploiting his death to promote her own “feminist agenda”.
The backlash comes despite Rickman often speaking about women in film and gender equality in a number of interviews.
“I always think feminist just means common sense,” he told Entertainment Weekly last year. "Do I live in a world and certainly in a business that is incredibly unfair to women? Yes, I do.”
Fortunately, the negative voices were deafened by the thousands retweeting her quote and celebrating Rickman's progressiveness.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies