For many, there is one role for which Alan Rickman will be remembered among all others. He didn’t simply play Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. He was that character. The actors who were involved in the Harry Potter series spent a decade of their lives working together. Needless to say, they all got to know each other very well. This makes Rickman’s death today as heartbreaking for many of them as it is for any member of their family. Daniel Radcliffe is no exception.
The actor who played Harry Potter opposite Alan Rickman's Snape wrote this today:
Daniel Radcliffe literally grew up while making the Potter films and he did so with an amazing mentor in the part of Rickman. It’s obvious that the accomplished actor, of the stage as well as the screen, attending Radcliffe’s own stage performances meant a great deal to him. The young actor’s comments give us a beautiful insight into the man that most of us only knew on screen. We knew he could be funny as his roles in movies like Dogma and Galaxy Quest can attest, but Radcliffe calls him loyal and supportive. While these characteristics are far from surprising, they show us a side of the man that only those who truly knew him would have seen.
On a movie screen, all actors come across as larger than life. It’s easy enough to forget that they’re really just people. The idea that Alan Rickman made sure to keep in touch with his friends, in the same way, that any of us would, just makes him that much more human. We didn’t just lose a great actor today. We lost a great man.
Many actors would have been apprehensive about taking on such a massive role as Severus Snape. The job ended up requiring eight films over the course of 10 years. Most actors wouldn’t want to commit that much time to one character or want to be typecast in that way. It never seemed to bother Alan Rickman. At the end of it he had nothing but kind words to say. Daniel Radcliffe was hardly the only Harry Potter alumni with emotional words to say today. Several others from the Potterverse are equally devastated.
The author of the Harry Potter novels responded to the death of Alan Rickman this morning via Twitter.
She and Alan Rickman had a special connection, as she was the one who convinced Rickman to take the role of Snape in the first place. Rowling speaks about Rima, who is Rima Horton, Rickman’s wife.
They were teenage sweethearts but only married recently, in secret.
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger to perfection, was also heartbroken to learn of Rickman’s passing. Like Daniel Radcliffe, she would have spent a great deal of time working with him as she grew up on the set. Also like Radcliffe, it’s clear that Rickman took the time to get to know her and treated her as an adult and not simply a child.
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With all the people that Alan Rickman helped it’s a wonder he ever had time to act. Matthew Lewis, who transformed before our eyes in the role of Neville Longbottom, is yet another actor who Rickman took the time to give advice to over the course of the many films. It’s clear that he truly wanted to help all of these young people become great actors as well as great men and women.
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