Personal Letters Reveal Alan Rickman Often Felt 'Frustrated' Over His 'Harry Potter' Role

Over two years after his death, we are getting a small glimpse into Alan Rickman’s creative process.

The actor, who lost his battle with cancer in 2016, played Professor Severus Snape in all eight of the Harry Potter films – and did so damn well, we might add.

Now, Rickman’s personal archive (including 38 boxes of notes, correspondences, photographs, diary entries, fan mail, and scripts) is to be auctioned off by Neil Pearson Rare Books.

According to snippets of the archive, the actor often felt frustrated with the direction of Snape’s character. Following the 2002 release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, one of the film’s producers sent Rickman a letter, thanking the actor for helping make the film “a success.”

“I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films,” wrote producer David Heyman. “And you are brilliant.” That he was.

In another note entitled “Inside Snape’s Head,” Rickman vents his irritation with long-time Harry Potter 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,” wrote the actor.

The collection also includes Rickman’s personal copies of the HP scripts, many of which include handwritten notes, along with the actor’s personal correspondence with J.K. Rowling. In one letter, Rowling thanks Rickman for his work in the Harry Potter franchise.

“Just back from weeks away and had to send a line about what you wrote in the souvenir programme for Hallows II,” reads the note from Rowling. “Made me very tearful. Thank *you* for doing justice to my most complex character.”

In another letter, Daniel Radcliffe thanks Rickman for gifting him a classic novel.

“I can’t wait to read Catcher in the Rye,” writes Radcliffe.

Rickman’s entire collection, which includes memorabilia from the actor’s other works (such as his Die Hard script) is valued at £950,000 (over $1,250,000).

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