Turns Out Alan Rickman Didn't Totally Love Playing Professor Snape

Illustration for article titled Turns Out Alan Rickman Didn't Totally Love Playing Professor Snape
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It appears that Alan Rickman, one of the gems of the Harry Potter franchise, wasn’t especially pleased with his place in the films, a fact only revealed now that his letters are up for auction.


Rickman, who died of pancreatic cancer at the beginning of 2016, left behind a collection of letters that hint at the beloved actor’s irritation with the portrayal of his character, Professor Severus Snape.

According to Independent, a letter from producer David Heyman thanked Rickman for his work on the second Potter movie, The Chamber of Secrets:

“Thank you for making HP2 a success,” the letter reads. “I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant.”

Rickman was brilliant, so I’m curious about which aspects of the film he took issue. The answer to that was seemingly laid out in another note he wrote while filming The Half-Blood Prince, entitled “Inside Snapes Head.” In it, he criticized David Yates, writing that it’s as if the director “decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal.” It’s not immediately clear what “this” refers to, so unless one of us ponies up for these letters, maybe we’ll never know.

In total, the items up for auction include correspondences, fan mail, interview excerpts and entries from Rickman’s own diaries, all of which are compiled into more than 30 boxes and will be on sale for £950,000, or over a million dollars. Seems worth it. Look at this:


Ashley Reese

Knowing that Tim Roth was originally tapped to be Snape (and would have been closer to the actual age of Snape’s character in canon) but turned down the role to do Planet of the Apes back in the early 00s will haunt me for the rest of my life. I love Rickman, but the way Snape was written became a little too slapstick for me as the movies progressed. I think it was the fault of the writing, not Rickman, but IDK, movie!Snape became a bit of a caricature and it rubbed me the wrong way.

I really wonder what Tim Roth!Snape would have been like. Honestly? Probably pretty damn good.