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:
Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I've ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I'm pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn't have to do that. I know other people who've been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say, 'If you call Alan, it doesn't matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he's doing, he'll get back to you within a day.'

People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.

As an actor, he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.?

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.

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