Alan Rickman’s Journals Reveal His Thoughts on Playing Snape in Harry Potter Series

The personal journals of late actor Alan Rickman will soon be published and among his writings are his thoughts on the Harry Potter franchise. Titled Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, the book contains the writings from Rickman’s journals that he’d kept over the course of 25 years. During this period of time, the actor had collected 27 diaries with all of them compiled into a single book.

Of course, Rickman touches on his time in the Harry Potter movie series in which he memorably played the role of Severus Snape. An excerpt from the book has been released in a new article by The Guardian that reveals the actor considered walking away from the franchise during his battle with prostate cancer, resulting in the removal of his prostate in 2006. Just weeks after his release from the hospital, Rickman penned a diary entry noting his decision to stay on board as Snape.

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“Finally, yes to HP 5. The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says: ‘See it through. It’s your story,’”

Rickman returned for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix along with its three additional sequels before ending his run in the role in 2011. For a 2008 entry about his return in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rickman also wrote:

“HP 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Day One. Thank God I could do the coat up without visible strain at the seams.”

Alan Rickman Shared His Thoughts on Snape’s Demise

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In 2009, Rickman also wrote about his return in the final two movies in the series, both chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He touches on working with the director and producers along with some concerns he had about what was in store for Snape.

“HP 6. NEW YORK. Party at the Natural History Museum. The desire to eat and even more get a drink is matched only by the need to bang the three Davids’ heads [Harry Potter producers David Heyman and David Barron, and director David Yates] against the nearest wall. I get the character development and the spiffing effects (dazzling), but where is the story????”

Rickman also detailed how he thought more about the death of Snape after getting home from the shoot and having his significant other Rima Horton, who he’d marry in 2012, point something out that gave him a different perspective.

“Cold, wet, draughty but the crew seem miles away so Ralph and I can just get on with inching our way towards the scene. David Y stubborn as ever about V[oldemort] killing me with a spell. (Impossible to comprehend, not least the resultant wrath of the readers.) Great working with Ralph, though. Direct and true and inventive and free. Back home and Rima (narrative brainbox) says, ‘He can’t kill you with a spell – the only one that would do that is Avada Kedavra and it kills instantly – you wouldn’t be able to finish the scene.’ … The Death of Snape. Nearly 10 years later. At least it’s just down to two actors … David is vulnerable and endearing when he’s excited. And he is by this scene. It’s the absolute example of what can happen when a couple of actors pick up a scene off the page and work with the story, the space and each other. Stuart Craig’s boathouse [set] gave it something ironic and everlasting. As I said at one point to David – it’s all a bit epic and Japanese.”

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman will go on sale on Oct. 18, 2022.