It’s not too often that we get a nice interview with Alan Rickman where he talks Harry Potter, but surprisingly a new one has sprouted up from RTE.
The actor talks at length about his portrayal of Snape.
When you were first approached about the role, it’s been said you were reluctant to take it on until you had a conversation with JK Rowling, and she said something to you that turned it for you? Can you tell us what that was?
Alan Rickman: I don’t know that I’d ever been reluctant. It’s just that you have to take small steps towards what this thing was that you were going to be part of. Certainly, I did say I needed to talk to her before I could get a handle on how to play it, and we did have a phone conversation. She certainly didn’t tell me what the end of the story was going to be in any way at all, so I was having to buy the books along with everybody else to find out, ‘And now what?’ No, she gave me one little piece of information, which I always said I would never share with anybody and never have, and never will. It wasn’t a plot point, or crucial in any tangible way, but it was crucial to me as a piece of information that made me travel down that road rather than that one or that one or that one.
Did you speak with her over the years and over the course of making the films about Snape’s journey?
AR: No, not at all. I mean, I’ve seen her over the years on odd occasions, odd events, and she just has the most marvelous -certainly, from our point of view as actors- hands-off approach to it. She may have visited the set, but I’ve never seen her there. And I think that’s very smart of her. She’s obviously had some control over the scripts or she’s been sent final drafts and made her comments, but I’ve never been aware of any kind of controlling presence. She’s let it go.
Read much much more, including his thoughts on working with Ralph Fiennes, at this link!