Alan Rickman’s surprising frustrations with Harry Potter revealed in new letters

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Susan Devaney
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Harry Potter: Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Newly released letters from Alan Rickman’s personal collection reveal his frustrations while playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter franchise. 

Any Harry Potter fan worth their salt will concur that Alan Rickman did justice with his portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise. So much so, it’s impossible to imagine the films without him.

But, as it turns out, his onscreen brilliance wasn’t without creative sacrifices and on-set tiffs. 

In a collection of letters currently up for auction by Neil Pearson Rare Books, some correspondences between the producer, David Heyman and Rickman reveals the “frustrations” felt by the British actor.

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

Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise

And in a note entitled ‘Inside Snape’s Head,’ written while Rickman was filming The Half-Blood Prince, the actor spoke of his own annoyance for the director, David Yates. 

“It is as if David Y. has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal,” Rickman wrote.

Included in the archive of 38 boxes, are other correspondences between fellow cast member Daniel Radcliffe and author JK Rowling.

“Just back from weeks away and had to send a line about what you wrote in the souvenir programme for Hallows II. Made me very tearful,” Rowling wrote. “Thank *you* for doing justice to my most complex character.”

And a very sweet congratulatory postcard from a young Radcliffe. 

Rickman, who died from cancer in 2016, also kept personal letters from Prince Charles, Tony Blair and former president Bill Clinton – all will be up for auction, too.

The personal archive will be going up for auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London and has been valued at £950,000.

Images: Warner Bros