Alan Rickman has been a sought-after actor since Die Hard (1988). For those born in the 90’s, however, he will always be associated with the role of the evil Potions teacher, Severus Snape, in the Harry Potter films. Six years after his death in 2016, Rickman’s diaries are now being published – and they contain some insights behind the scenes of the Potter world.
“Die Hard” in Check:
Rickman began to keep a meticulous diary in 1992, filling a total of 26 volumes. Of the “Guardians” published excerpts from his entries in advance in the years 2000 to 2011, i.e. the time of the Potter films. Rickman died of pancreatic cancer in 2016.
As has now become known, he was diagnosed for the first time in 2005 and therefore underwent surgery, but kept it secret. So he considered giving up the role, but eventually went through with the films. “Finally, yes to ‘Harry Potter 5’. The feeling is neither good nor bad. The argument that wins says, ‘Go through with it. It’s your story,'” he writes in the diary.
Rickman also captures the moment as he finished reading The Deathly Hallows, the final Harry Potter book: “Snape dies heroically, Potter describes him to his children as one of the bravest men he ever knew and names his son Albus Severus. This was a real initiation rite. A little hint from JK Rowling seven years earlier – Snape loved Lily – gave me a rock to hold on to.”
Rickman also writes about what it was like to see Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe growing up in the role: “1pm lunch with Daniel Radcliffe at Cafe Cluny. He was just 12, now he’s 19. When did that happen? And he is sensitive, articulate and intelligent. And owns a three-bedroom apartment in New York.”
In addition to his thoughts on his film roles, Rickman also repeatedly wrote down his thoughts on world events at the time, such as the attacks on September 11, 2001. Politicians such as Great Britain’s then Prime Minister Tony Blair or Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, sometimes received scathing comments.