Alan Rickman Archive For Sale Reveals Actor’s Frustration At Playing Snape


Late actor Alan Rickman's personal papers reveal that the role of Severus Snape exasperated the actor. Apparently, the Harry Potter star struggled with playing the teacher.

An Integral Role

Rickman passed away in 2016. Now, a wide-ranging archive of papers belonging to the late actor will be up for sale at a London book fair.

Included in the selection is a note from producer David Hayman, who cast Rickman as sneering teacher Snape. Rickman played the role for all seven movies in the hit franchise.

"I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant," wrote Hayman.

A note, from Rickman himself, jotted down while he was working on 2009 sequel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, suggests the esteemed actor felt concerned that not enough attention was being paid to poor Snape.

Rickman suggested that perhaps the core teenage audience was the main concern, instead of the story itself.

A Valuable Collection

The full archive has an estimated value of just under £950,000 or around $1.2 million. It also includes letters from the likes of Bill Clinton, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Tony Blair, and, of course, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who thanks Rickman for doing her most complex character justice.

Fans of the series were so enamored with Rickman's portrayal that some suggested that Rowling created the character with him in mind.

Actor and bookseller Neil Pearson assembled the collection of papers which will be up for sale. It includes Rickman's personal copies of scripts from some of his most famous movie appearances, including Die Hard. His first onscreen role saw Rickman take on the now-iconic role of Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis.

Pearson was emphatic about how valuable the archive, which includes almost 40 boxes worth of stuff, is.

"It's a fabulous collection. ... Every single script of a play or film, all of his diaries, and a massive amount of correspondence from pretty much every one you've ever heard of," gushed the seller.

Celebrated actor Rickman kept correspondence throughout his life, along with fan mail, interview excerpts, and his own personal diaries.

Everybody Was A Fan

Of particular interest to hardcore Harry Potter fans will be ongoing discourse, via letters, between Rickman and Rowling as Snape's character developed over time.

A few letters from Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter in the hit film series, were also in the collection.

One, a postcard wishing Rickman a happy Christmas, seemed to have been a genuine bit of fan mail from the young actor.

"Alan, you were fantastic in the play. See you next year," wrote the young Radcliffe to his hero.

Rickman's performance as Snape was the most popular of his entire career. Rowling believed he defined it in its infancy, with the two collaborating on it over the years as she continued to write.

The actor passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

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