Read Alan Rickman's Heartfelt Goodbye To Harry Potter

By Josh Tyler 2011-05-25 23:46:25discussion comments
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Read Alan Rickman's Heartfelt Goodbye To Harry Potter image
My perspective on the Harry Potter franchise is almost wholly unique, in that I seem to be the last person on planet Earth who hasn’t read the books. For me it was part deliberate choice to experience the movies that way, and part disinterest in Rowling’s writing style (I made it about halfway through book one before getting bored). But whatever the reason, after this summer I’ll have made it through the entire franchise with the Harry Potter films being my one and only window into this universe. While you’re wondering how your favorite characters will be portrayed, for me each and every moment is brand new.

Because of that, I’ve never understood why they don’t do more with Severus Snape. To an outsider like myself, he’s really the only truly interesting character in the entire Harry Potter universe. He broods and slinks his way around Hogwarts, sometimes helping, sometimes hindering… you’re never entirely sure what’s going on inside his head. But I want to know. That’s really the only thing I want from Deathly Hallows Part 2 when it arrives this July. Tell me what Snape’s been thinking all this time. Potter fans, please don’t tell me if I’m about to be disappointed.

Snape is a brilliant character in large part because he’s played by Alan Rickman. Rickman is one of the most underrated actors in the history of Hollywood and if you’ve ever heard him speak in person, you know he's a pretty fantastically engaging public speaker too. Apparently he’s also a skilled, heartfelt, letter writer.

We’re all saying goodbye to the Harry Potter franchise later this year, but he said his goodbyes to the wizarding world this April. After finishing his very last piece of work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rickman wrote this letter to Empire as his way of saying goodbye to the world we’ve seen him so fully inhabiting on screen all these years:

I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway. A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.

Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.

It is an ancient need to be told in stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.

Alan Rickman
Here’s the actual image published in Empire as first posted on Reddit.


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