With Warner Bros. hoping to get an Oscar nomination for Alan Rickman his portrayal as “Severus Snape” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Los Angeles Times interviewed the actor who is currently on Broadway performing in Seminar by Theresa Rebeck. According to the article, Rickman “was more than willing to express his affection for the ‘Potter’ creative team and cast”, particularly the three stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione), and Rupert Grint (Ron).
He was quoted to have said it was a “’unique experience’ of watching the movies grow up with the children”. Rickman also said that doing all eight Harry Potter films was a “punctuation mark in my life every year…” due to the fact that he was working on other projects but always came back to “Hogwarts” for another Harry Potter story to be filmed:
“It was a punctuation mark in my life every year because I would be doing other things but always come back to that and I was always aware of my place in the story even as others around me were not,” Rickman said. “Am I sad? The point about a great story is that it’s got a beginning, a middle and end. The ending of this story was quite popular and beautifully judged by Jo Rowling and David Yates, so it’s not a cause for sadness; it’s a cause for celebration that it was rounded off so well.”
Ever since the first Harry Potter film, Rickman knew what Snape’s motives were because he had a talk with J.K. Rowling who trusted him with the knowledge so that he could understand how to play this man who was so unpleasant to Harry Potter. He was so focused on playing this character correctly and not giving anything away that even David Yates (director of the last four Harry Potter films) was taken aback at their first meeting:
“My early reaction to Alan was, ‘Wow, he’s really prickly and quite unpleasant,’” Yates said during a recent Los Angeles visit. “But there’s a method to his madness. I realized that he has to get in that zone when he’s on the set. When I finally met him away from the job, he was a lovely guy. I don’t know that he shows that to everyone, though. I think Alan is also shy — painfully shy, in fact — and he believes his craft should have an element of mystery to it. He sees no value in talking about it too much or dissecting it too much.”
Quite aware that Rickman and Rowling had a private conversation about Snape, the producer David Heyman was amused occasionally by the fact that Rickman knew certain things concerning his character that no one else on the set knew:
“It was quite amusing, too, because there were times when a director would tell Alan what to do in a scene and he would say something like, ‘No I can’t do that – I know what is going to happen and you don’t,’” said “Potter” producer David Heyman. “He had a real understanding of the character and now looking back, you can see there was always more going on there – a look, an expression, a sentiment — that hint at what is to come … the shadow that he casts in these films is a huge one and the emotion he conveys is immeasurable.”
Rickman mentioned what his thoughts were on working with two different actors who portrayed “Professor Albus Dumbledore”, for Richard Harris who portrayed “Dumbledore” in the first two Harry Potter films died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October 2004:
“It was hard losing Richard so early on but it was a great gift to find Michael to pick up those reins and it was a gift to have two Dumbledores to work with,” Rickman said. “The rest of the cast stayed steady. You didn’t see the cast come and go, just get taller.”
The article went on to mention other memorable films Rickman had done in the past along with how well the theater run is going for Seminar, though he will, of course, always be known for his role as “Professor Severus Snape”.
“The Story of Snape” video, which includes a comment from Dan Radcliffe, is embedded in the article. Click here to view it and read the complete article.
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