Harry Potter’s Alan Rickman Gave Jason Isaacs Hilarious Advice While Filming Quidditch Scenes

Jason Isaacs and Alan Rickman side by side in Harry Potter
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The eight-film Harry Potter franchise is still very much connected with pop culture, as fans re-watch the fantasy series over and over again. While the young cast like Daniel Radcliffe grew up before our eyes, some stellar U.K. actors were hired to play the adults of the Wizarding World. Case in point: the late Alan Rickman who gave an outstanding performance as Snape. And it turns out that Rickman gave his co-star Jason Isaacs hilarious advice while filming Quidditch scenes

Jason Isaacs made his debut as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, appearing in a total of six movies throughout that original franchise. During that time he got to work with Alan Rickman, although he admits he was a bit intimidated by the Die Hard actor at first. Isaacs recently shared an A+ story about Rickman to The Guardian, specifically related to the Quidditch scene from Harry Potter 2. As he put it,

In person, though, he put paid to my intimidation on my first day: we were shooting a sequence where we watched and reacted to a Quidditch match. 'This is the quaffle,' said a props man, waving a tennis ball on a stick. 'And now, here come the beaters. Here they are, but the keeper blocks it and, watch out, here’s the Gryffindor seeker. And … he falls … but … HE’S GOT THE GOLDEN SNITCH!' 'I’m so sorry, Alan,' I said. 'But what’s going on? What should I do?' 'No idea.' he whispered. 'Do what I do. Absolutely fucking nothing.’

I mean, how can you not love this story? Despite Alan Rickman’s skill as an actor, it looks like he kept things simple when filming Quidditch scenes. Namely because they weren’t actually watching anything while filming scenes at Hogwarts’ pitch. All of that would be added in post, which is partly why Jason Isaacs was so desperate for advice from the late actor.

Jason Isaacs’ story about Alan Rickman showed what a great sense of humor the Love Actually actor had. It also peels back the curtain on what it’s really like working on a big project like a Harry Potter movie. Because while we get to see a finished product, sometimes actors are filming with green screens or sharing a scene with a tennis ball on a stick. The Wizarding World is full of effects that are added in post, Isaacs’ confusion has probably occurred before. Later in this same interview, the Patriot actor offered more about his interactions with Rickman, saying:

Who knew! The man behind the most distinctive and contemptuous drawl in theatrical history was actually completely accessible, anarchically funny, utterly in the moment on and off screen, and a consumer of music far, far more contemporary than my best-of-the-70s tastes – a point he made mercilessly in the makeup chair as my cheese-fest blasted out.

They say never to meet your idols, but it looks like things worked out pretty well when Jason Isaacs became co-workers and friends with Alan Rickman during the Harry Potter movies. And he’s just one of many people who have shared stories about his talent and humor since the legendary actor passed away back in 2016. Luckily his work continues to be watched and adored by the generations of Harry Potter fans out there.

As for Jason Isaacs, his movie Mrs. Parris goes to Paris is still in theaters, and he’s got a number of projects in the works. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.