Alan Rickman's 'frustrations' with playing Snape in Harry Potter revealed in newly released letters

‘I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films’

Jack Shepherd
Monday 28 May 2018 18:33 BST
Battle between Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2

Newly released letters from Alan Rickman’s personal collection have revealed the actor’s “frustrations” playing the character Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

One letter, written by producer David Heyman, thanks Rickman – who died in 2016 – for working on the second Harry Potter movie, The Chamber of Secrets.

“Thank you for making HP2 a success.” the letter reads. “I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant.”

Rickman later penned a note while working on the 2009 movie The Half-Blood Prince. Titled “Inside Snape’s Head”, the actor writes of frustration over the way director David Yates approached the character’s storyline.

“It’s as if David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal,” he noted.

Rickman’s letters – which also include one from Harry Potter author JK Rowling who thanks the actor for “doing justice to my most complex character” – are going up for auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London and have been valued at £950,000.

Other items in the collection include letters from the Prince Charles, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, along with Rickman’s copy of the Die Hard script, the 1988 blockbuster movie in which he played the villain Hans Gruber.

Actor and bookseller Neil Pearson, who brought together the works, told The Mirror: “It’s a fabulous collection. There are 35 boxes of it – there is the Truly Madly Deeply script in there and Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves is in there.

“Every single script of a play or film, all of his diaries and a massive amount of correspondence from pretty much everyone you’ve ever heard of.”

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