Harry Potter: the secrets of Professor Snape

Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

In the upcoming Alan Rickman diaries, Harry Potter Professor Snape’s secret. Here’s what the wizard saga actor thought about him.

For 20 years it was just a notebook. But since 1992 it has become a real diary. With everything on. Thoughts, reflections, drawings, stories, reports of meetings. Secrets. Six years after his death, a book containing the secret diaries of Alan Rickman. Best known to the world as Professor Snape of the film saga of Harry Potter. And in Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diariesthe actor explains why, despite the illness, the problems on the set and the intolerance towards these blockbusters, he decided to continue playing one of the most incredible characters created by the pen of JK Rowling.

Alan Rickman, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Alan Rickman, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Because Alan Rickman wanted to leave Harry Potter

Alan Rickman wanted to quit after a couple of movies. Hang the wand on the nail and do something else. Not so much for the character of Snape. How much – from what we read in the extract published exclusively by the English newspaper The Guardian – for what was around him. Hollywood productions seem to suffocate him. A repetition of gestures that leave no room for creativity. At work as an actor.

This adds to the doubts about wanting to continue playing a seemingly perfidious character. But a magical phone call with the author of the boy wizard was made to remove a burden from her heart. It’s the secret revealed: “A little information from Jo Rowling seven years ago – Snape loved Lily – gave me the rock to hold on to to carry on,” he writes on July 27, 2007. Commenting on the book he just finished reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The disease and the final choice: it will be Professor Snape until the end

There is also another reason why Alan Rickman no longer wants to play the character of Professor Snape. Throughout 2005, when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was only in pre-production, the actor had been subjected to very heavy treatment to fight an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Which will be removed in the early days of 2006. In this period he writes that he has thought a lot.

And in the end he explains why, despite the illness and pain, he made the decision to move on. “I finally said yes to HP 5. The feeling is neither up nor down. The argument she won is what she says: “Bring it to the end. It’s your story ”», she wrote on January 30, 2006.

And it is true. Only he (besides Rowling) knew the reason for Snape’s actions. Only he could go up to the eighth film and explain it.

The great affection for Daniel Radcliffe, the clear judgment on Emma Watson

Ironic, pungent and sincere. Perhaps he would never have thought that one day we would all be able to read his diaries. Which reveal a lot about the Hollywood that Alan Rickman came into contact with. From his words – a few lines a day, a sudden gash – we understand a lot of what was going through his head. Like the deep affection that bound him to Daniel Radcliffe. Harry Potter himself. Sweet words full of esteem are dedicated to him. Like those of 29 December 2008. «1 pm Lunch with Dan Radcliffe at Cafe Cluny. A minute ago he was 12 now he’s 19. When did this happen? He is a sensitive, smart and intelligent boy. And he owns a three-bedroom apartment in New York. ‘


Less benevolent with the then very young Emma Watson. It is July 30, 2003. The day on the set of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban it was long and tiring. “Alfonso [Cuarón, il regista] he quietly went into a rage with me », he writes. “I love him too much to keep him going for too long, so I walked out screaming from the set and we solved. It is under the usual pressure of HP e films […] these guys need to be direct. They don’t know their lines and Emma’s diction [Watson] it sometimes looks like that of an Albanian inhabitant ».

Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman

Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman at an event for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in New York in 2011. There was great affection between the two. Photo Ap

The death of a friend, Natasha Richardson

There are also painful personal memories. Like the shock of the 9/11 attacks. Or the phone call from Ralph Fiennes. Who from New York informs him of the death of a dear friend, Natasha Richardson. Wife of Liam Neesondaughter of Vanessa Redgrave. “When I put the phone down, I must have sat there for an hour and then wandered around. I left a message for Liam. I spent the day answering the phone and canceling appointments. All in a state of daze », he writes on March 17, 2009.

To then describe who that magnificent woman who was Natasha was to him. “In the midst of the deepest laugh he knew how things were going to turn out. Except this time ».

Alan Rickman died at 69 on January 14, 2016, after battling prostate cancer for 11 years.


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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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