Alan Rickman’s Secret Journals Reveal why he Continued Playing Severus Snape in Harry Potter After Cancer Diagnosis

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman, popularly known as Alan Rickman, was an English actor and director. He received worldwide recognition for his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series.

Rickman was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company of modern and classical theatre productions.

His other notable projects include Die Hard, Alice in Wonderland, Galaxy Quest, Truly, Madly, Deeply, Sense and Sensibility, Dogma, Love Actually, and Eye in the Sky.

On January 14, 2016, Alan passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Now, after six years of his passing, a secret journal of the actor is explaining why he continued playing Professor Snape after his cancer diagnosis.

“It was announced in June that Henry Holt & Company will publish Madly Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman in October, with The Guardian publishing excerpts from the journal over the weekend, shedding new light on his role in the Harry Potter movies,” per Daily Mail.

Rickman was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 before the production of Harry Potter’s fifth movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In January 2006, the actor underwent a surgical procedure and got his prostate removed.

And by the end of January 2016, he agreed to return to the HP franchise.

According to The Guardian, in his revealed journal entries, Alan wrote on January 30, 2016,

“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.”’

Later in May, he mentioned in his diary that he was being less chatty on the set and didn’t communicate much with the cast and crew members.

“I realise as soon as that [Snape’s] ring and costume go on – something happens. It becomes alien to be chatty, smiley, open. The character narrows me down, tightens me up. Not good qualities on a film set. I have never been less communicative with a crew. Fortunately, Dan [Radcliffe] fills that role with ease and charm. And youth.”

In another entry from July 27, 2007, he opened up about his feelings after his character’s death in the movie.

“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,” he wrote in his journal.

In one of the previous entries of his journal in 2000, the actor detailed his first ever conversation with the author, J.K.Rowling, and called it a rather odd one.

First conversation with Joanne Rowling. Her sister answers – “She’s not here – can I leave a message?” [There is] cackling in the background … “Sorry about that! … ”‘ Alan wrote on October 6, 2007.

“[I tell her:] “There are things that only Snape & you know – I need to know,’ adding that she replied, ‘You’re right – call me tomorrow; no one else knows these things.”’

The next day on October 7, he stated, “Talk to Joanne Rowling again, and 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. She’s a channel – bubbling over with, “Well, when he was young, you see, this, that and the other happened” – never, “I wanted so & so … “‘ he added.

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Sources: Daily MailThe Guardian

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