Alan Rickman’s Private Letters Reveal He Wasn’t Happy With Harry Potter Role


It would seem that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wasn’t always so magical behind the scenes.

Newly released letters from the personal collection of deceased thespian Alan Rickman have revealed that the portrayer of Severus Snape was occasionally frustrated with the role. The exasperation has come to light via correspondence from the life and career of Rickman that are being put up for auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London.

In one such letter, written by David Heyman (Gravity), the producer thanks Rickman for his work on the second Harry Potter movie, The Chamber of Secrets, while clearly alluding to the “frustrated” mindset expressed by the actor.

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


While working on the sixth Harry Potter installment, The Half-Blood Prince, in 2009, Rickman penned a letter entitled “Inside Snape’s Head.” The contents of which detail the actor’s dissatisfaction over the way director David Yates approached the character.

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

Unarguably one of the most sought-after pieces in the collection is a letter written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, in which she thanks Rickman for “doing justice to my most complex character.” Other items include letters from Prince Charles, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Alan Rickman portrayed the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Severus Snape, in the motion picture adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s bestselling fantasy series, Harry Potter, for nearly a decade. Sadly, Rickman passed away in 2016, but his memory lives on thanks to his fantastic performance as Snape and countless other roles.

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