Actor Alan Rickman, who died on Thursday, is responsible for bringing to life several iconic roles. Most famously, especially for a generation who grew up with the series: Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. Rickman played the part across eight movies in a production that lasted more than 10 years. Through it all, he knew the professor’s most important secret long before author J.K. Rowling published it in The Deathly Hallows.
As The Independent recalls, Rickman sought Rowling’s advice when he began initial preparations to play Snape. That’s when the writer confided in the actor the character’s true alignment — despite the fact that the series’ final books wouldn’t be completed and published for years to come. This helped Rickman do his job even better, though sometimes to his directors’ annoyance:
“It was quite amusing, too, because there were times when a director would tell Alan what to do in a scene and he would say something like, ‘No I can’t do that — I know what is going to happen and you don’t,'” series producer David Heyman told the L.A. Times.
This added further pressure to the other side of Rickman’s Harry Potter gig, which entailed dealing with the press. Because he knew a bit more than his fellow cast members, the actor had to be more careful when answering reporters’ questions. Still, this didn’t stop him from teasing his knowledge when pressed:
“No, she gave me one little piece of information, which I always said I would never share with anybody and never have, and never will. It wasn’t a plot point, or crucial in any tangible way, but it was crucial to me as a piece of information that made me travel down that road rather than that one or that one or that one.”
Snape’s true associations, intentions and motivations as revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book and films) will remain one of the series’ most memorable moments, and Rickman brought them to life like no one else could, no doubt in part because he knew what others didn’t.
(Via The Independent)