Excerpts from Alan Rickman’s diaries published by The Guardian offer a glimpse into the late actor’s decade-long journey through the Harry Potter franchise.
The late actor gave insight into why he decided to continue playing the role of Severus Snape across all eight films.
Rickman detailed that he wanted to leave the franchise in 2002, one month after the release of the second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
“Talking to [agent] Paul Lyon-Maris about HP exit, which he thinks will happen," Rickman wrote in an entry dated December 4, 2002. “But here we are in the project-collision area again. Reiterating no more HP. They don't want to hear it.”
The actor was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer in 2005, ahead of filming for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the franchise's fifth instalment. Rickman’s treatment began but the doctors decided to remove his entire prostate, with surgery occurring at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. in January of the following year. Despite wanting to leave the franchise, Rickman decided to stay.
“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,” wrote Rickman on January 30, 2006.
Rickman also wrote about his first meeting with series creator J.K. Rowling and how he was let in on the history of Snape's character by the author. He wrote in 2000, “She nervously lets me in on a few glimpses of Snape's background. Talking to her is talking to someone who lives these stories, not invents them.”
On July 2007, The late actor detailed, “… I have finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Snape dies heroically, Potter describes him to his children as one of the bravest men he ever knew and calls his son Albus Severus. This was a genuine rite of passage. One small piece of information from Jo Rowling seven years ago – Snape loved Lily – gave me a cliff edge to hang on to.”
Rickman died of pancreatic cancer in January 2016 at age 69. His diary entries, which span 25 years of his life, will be published as a book, Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, out October 4th, 2022.
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