The Reason Alan Rickman Nearly Turned Down Snape Role

Shola Lee

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The Reason Alan Rickman Nearly Turned Down Snape RoleAlamy

Alan Rickman nearly turned down the role of Severus Snape in Harry Potter for a reason you wouldn’t expect.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit theatres 20 years ago and there is little fans don’t know about the magical franchise.

However, the reason Rickman nearly turned down the role of Snape might surprise you.

Alan Rickman Harry Potter (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

The seemingly evil, then noble potions master will always be a fan favourite, so, it’s hard to imagine that the late, great Rickman nearly didn’t play the role.

In an interview with AV Club, director Chris Columbus spoke of his experiences trying to get iconic British actors to take part in the film.

He said:

I remember [producer] David Heyman and myself had to do the British actor’s dinner tour for quite some time. We went out to dinner with Richard Harris to convince him, and Maggie Smith to convince her.

Columbus went on to explain that Rickman also took some convincing and was reluctant to star as the love-to-hate character, Snape.

Harry Potter (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

The director continued:

Alan Rickman was the same, and he was reluctant because he didn’t want to be typecast as a villain, particularly after Die Hard, and I guess Robin Hood [Prince Of Thieves].

Luckily, they convinced him, and following this, J.K. Rowling took the actor to dinner and ‘told him something’ that would ‘happen to Snape throughout the series and in the seventh book’.

This motivated the actor to ‘do these tiny little idiosyncrasies with his performance’ that Columbus at the time ‘couldn’t figure out’ because he hadn’t read the seventh book yet.

On reflection, however, Columbus called Rickman’s foreshadowing ‘brilliant’.

We agree.

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Topics: Film and TV, Anniversary, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


AV Club
  1. AV Club

    Chris Columbus on how he convinced Alan Rickman to enter the Potterverse

Shola Lee
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