Turn To Page 394: Here Are 6 Bombshells About The HP Flicks From Alan Rickman’s Diaries

alan rickman as severus snape in harry potter

A collection of legendary actor Alan Rickman‘s diaries are set to be published posthumously in October and, as you might expect from the man behind the Harry Potter franchise’s most controversial character, they are a gold mine of BTS tea.

Obviously a load of Gen Zs know Rickman best as Severus Snape, as well as Emma Thompson‘s absolute fuckhead of a husband in Love Actually. Try watching Thompson cry to Joni Mitchell‘s ‘Both Sides Now’ without weeping, I dare you.

His diaries span from the early 90s AKA peak Potter era. A selection of excerpts have been published by The Guardian and they are chock-a-block full of gossip.

Alan Rickman was a big ‘ol fan of one HP movie in particular

Let’s say it: the man had great taste.

His fave flick seemed to be The Prisoner of Azkaban which, as we all know, is unequivocally the best Harry Potter film.

Alfonso [Cuarón] has done an extraordinary job. It is a very grown-up movie, so full of daring that it made me smile and smile,” he wrote.

“Every frame of it is the work of an artist and storyteller. Stunning effects that are somehow part of the life of the film, not show-off stunts.”

No word on what he thought of Professor Lupin’s ultra-creepy werewolf getup, alas.

He tried to leave the franchise multiple times

Other parts of the diaries give an insight into how Rickman felt about the Hogwarts of it all. It turns out Rickman tried to leave the role more than once. In 2006, before Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix began filming, he wrote: “Finally said yes to HP 5. The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says, ‘See it through. It’s your story’”.

He apparently also tried to quit after The Chamber of Secrets.

I absolutely can’t imagine anyone else as Severus Snape. It would be like if Miley Cyrus dropped out of Hannah Montana halfway through — simply not the same!

Rickman had some clear beef with how the movies were made

Writing about filming The Philosopher’s Stone, he described it as “Tick Off The Shots filming”. Ouch.

“Too many people involved in the decisions. A hat has been made for Snape. A hat? For Snape? Fortunately Chris Columbus [the director] is also a sweet, funny soul and you kind of guess what he’s thinking, what he wants,” he wrote. 

“Certainly if you step outside that he’s in sharpish. So it gets done. And it all looks just fine.”

Sorry but: “A hat? For Snape?” is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

Rickman’s take on the film’s premiere was more savage though. He said it should “only be seen on a big screen” as it “acquires a scale and depth” and described John Williams‘s score as “hideous”.

He was also a lil critical when it came to the later films, describing a desire to “bang the three Davids’ heads against the nearest wall” on the Half Blood Prince. Those three Davids are producers David Heyman and David Barron, and director David Yates.

I get the character development and the spiffing effects (dazzling), but where is the story????” 

You tell ’em.

Snape was supposed to meet a different death

As we all know, Snape is ultimately killed by Voldemort’s big fuck-off snake Nagini. But according to his diaries, it seems David Yates originally wanted him to die from a spell.

“David Y stubborn as ever about V[oldemort] killing me with a spell,” he wrote. 

“(Impossible to comprehend, not least the resultant wrath of the readers.)”

His wife Rima also agreed.

Back home and Rima (narrative brainbox) says, He can’t kill you with a spell – the only one that would do that is Avada Kedavra and it kills instantly – you wouldn’t be able to finish the scene’.” 

Rima was, of course, correct!

He was fan of working with Ralph Fiennes though, describing him as, “Direct and true and inventive and free”.

Rickman also described Yates as “vulnerable and endearing” when filming Snape’s death scene.

“It’s the absolute example of what can happen when a couple of actors pick up a scene off the page and work with the story, the space and each other.”

He confirmed J.K Rowling gave him tea on Snape’s character

It’s a known bit of Harry Potter lore that IRL Voldemort J.K. Rowling gave Rickman background info on Snape’s ultimate fate.

Rickman confirmed this in the diary, and gave his take on the final book when it was released.

I have finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Snape dies heroically, Potter describes him to his children as one of the bravest men he ever knew and calls his son Albus Severus,” he wrote.

“This was a genuine rite of passage. One small piece of information from Jo Rowling seven years ago – Snape loved Lily – gave me a cliff edge to hang on to.” 

Bloody Snape.

We heard his take on Snape’s final scene

Rickman described himself as having a “night of not sleeping at all” before filming Snape’s final scene, titled “The Last Breath of Severus Snape”.

“Here I am with Dan, Emma and Rupert 10 (?) years on (Emma is here on a break from Brown University), blood all over my throat from an imagined Nagini, the three of them still with furrowed brows and panting a bit,” he wrote. 

“Finding it hard to remember any particular scenes over the years mainly because all the decisions are taken in committee rooms and not on the floor.

“We listen as DY [Yates] tells us what we are thinking and why (and in some cases recounts the story … ) and a small piece of something creative caves in.”

It’s fair to say Rickman seems to have some ~mixed emotions~ about his role in the Harry Potter universe, describing the final film’s premiere as “unsettling to watch”. Fair, I can see it being a bit weird watching yourself die at the hands of a big fuck-off snake.

But if you’d like to keep the magic alive, please enjoy this adorable excerpt from 2008.

Lunch w. Dan Radcliffe at Cafe Cluny. One minute he was 12 now he’s 19. When did that happen?” Rickman said. 

“And he’s sensitive, articulate and smart. And owns a three-bed apt in NY.”

Good to know that Alan Rickman was a Daniel Radcliffe stan just like the rest of us.