Alan Rickman’s diaries reveal his Harry Potter concerns

Alan Rickman
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Extracts from Alan Rickman’s pithy diaries reveal his continued misgivings about taking on his villainous role in Harry Potter.

The late, great Alan Rickman portrayed Severus Snape across eight Harry Potter films and an entire decade from 2001 to 2011, creating one of the standout characters amidst an ensemble that was stacked with acting talent. However, The Guardian has published some extracts from Rickman’s diaries (which are set to be published next month) which show how he felt uneasy with the role, even when he was several films into the series.

Rickman was initially reluctant to accept the role for fear of being typecast. He wasn’t keen on Chris Columbus’ first film in the series, describing it by saying it “acquires a scale and depth that matches the hideous score by John Williams.”

The actor tried to quit the series before the commencement of the third film, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, writing about how portraying the character in unflattering terms: “I realise as soon as [Snape’s] ring and costume go on – something happens. It becomes alien to be chatty, smiley, open. The character narrows me down, tightens me up.”

Ultimately, Rickman would stick with the role, despite battling the cancer that would ultimately claim his life in 2016. The greatly-missed actor would also write that author JK Rowling gave him enough insight into the character to maintain his interest: “One small piece of information from Jo Rowling seven years ago – Snape loved Lily [Potter, Harry’s mother] – gave me a cliff edge to hang on to.”

Rickman’s diaries are set to be published next year, including a trove of films that he reviewed. You can read further excerpts here.

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