Personal Letters Reveal Alan Rickman Had Some Mixed Feelings About Playing Snape

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of the late, great English actor Alan Rickman. Moviegoers, co-workers, directors, everyone enjoyed the time they spent working with him, watching him, or just being around him. But just because he was so well liked doesn’t mean he had a complex personal life. Actors are emotional beings, and Rickman was no different.

Thanks to some of his personal letters coming up for auction, we’ve gotten a glimpse into his complicated feelings about playing one of his most well-known roles.


The collection of letters, which are part of an auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair, seem to indicate the actor struggled with how the film franchise’s directors were handling his character, beginning as early as A Chamber of Secrets, the second installment in the Harry Potter franchise.


One letter from producer David Heyman told Rickman “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.”

Later, after filming Half-Blood Prince (the sixth film), Rickman wrote a note, titled “Inside Snape’s Head,” that seemed to indicate he was unhappy with choices made by director David Yates.


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

He’s clearly frustrated, but about what, exactly, we may never know.

The collection does include happy notes, as well, like one from author J.K. Rowling thanking Rickman for “doing justice to my most complex character,” and one from Daniel Radcliffe, who idolized Rickman (rightfully so).


“To Alan, Thank you for all of my presents, I can’t wait to read Catcher in the Rye.”

The entire collection includes 35 boxes of diaries, photos, scripts, and other personal effects like notes from Prince Charles, Tony Blair, and Bill Clinton.

If you want to bid on it, you’d better have deep pockets – they’re expecting the whole thing to go for over $1.2 million.