Letters reveal that Alan Rickman struggled with playing Snape behind the scenes

scandal 30/05/2018

Alan Rickman had a massive career and for us, a massive part of that was his portrayal of Severus Snape in Harry Potter.

As much as we enjoyed watching him, the behind-the-scenes experience wasn’t as magical for Rickman as we thought.

Two years after his death, Neil Pearson got ahold of the late actor’s personal archive and will be releasing boxes worth of fan mail, on-set photos, notes, correspondences, scripts, and diary entries as a collection for auction.

In one particular letter, Harry Potter producer David Heyman thanked Rickman for his tremendous work on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and hinted on the actor’s vexation with the role. “Thank you for making HP2 a success,” Heyman wrote. “I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant.”

In another note called “Inside Snape’s Head,” Rickman documented his work on 2009’s Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince and wrote about his discontentment with Snape’s storyline and working with 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,” wrote the Emmy Award-winning actor.

We don't actually know what "this" refers to but we're assuming that it's because Snape's character wasn't as fleshed out in the movies as it was in the books.

He did get a lot of encouragement and positive feedback from those he was working with, though.

Daniel Radcliffe sent him a thank you note for gifts which included a copy of a classic novel. “I can’t wait to read Catcher in the Rye,” he wrote. Snape’s efforts in educating Harry went beyond the walls of Hogwarts, after all, and we’re sobbing.