Alan Rickman’s “Frustrations” playing Professor Severus Snape

May 2018

Though Alan Rickman’s acting career spanned 40 years, his most memorable role was that of “Professor Severus Snape” in the Harry Potter films. As a Potterhead myself, I can’t picture anyone else playing the role as well or brilliantly as he did. The films spanned over a 10 year period of filming starting with “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” and closing the story with “The Deathly Hallows 2.” During this time even though we may have known the books we still got unnerved as we watched Professor Snape mistreat Harry Potter. We still felt anger towards the way Professor Snape seemingly wanted the worst for our hero. And in the end Alan Rickman hit us in the feels when he left us on screen…

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Like anyone who spends that much time invested in something, Mr. Rickman had his own thoughts on the direction of the story and his character. Recently a collection of letters that spanned his 40 year career were auctioned off. In them he wrote about his acting roles, but notable to us is his thoughts on the character we know best.

Rickman wrote while working on The Half-Blood Prince. In the note titled “Inside Snape’s Head,” he stated “It’s as if David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal.”

His notes on the filming of the series also included heartwarming letters on his close relationships with Daniel Radcliffe and JK Rowling. As someone from the outside looking in I don’t feel any different towards the man as he stated what he believes, and though not publically, his pouring out on paper seemed to be his best way of articulating what he felt.

Rickman passed away at the age of 69 in 2016 from pancreatic cancer.

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