The Sunday Leader

‘Stopper in Death’ – Alan Rickman

By Tia Goonaratna 

After hearing about Lemmy and Bowie, the death of Alan Rickman along with Glenn Frey were just proving that 2016 is on some major cleansing. Whilst mainly the older generations mourned Lemmy, Bowie and Frey, Rickman was bringing the younger generation to tears.

Born in 1946, Rickman already claimed his fame with roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Galaxy Quest, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Die Hard, Perfume: The Story of A Murderer and Alice in Wonderland. Often playing the complex antagonist, Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Even though he has been in television since the late 70s, his big break came with the character Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

In the recent years, he was not only loved and hated, but celebrated for his portrayal of Severus Snape in Harry Potter. Out of all the characters that came alive from the books, it was widely known knowledge that Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape was the best imitation of the book. To those who have read the book, it is quite evident that Alan Rickman did complete justice to Severus Snape.

Whilst there were many differences between the book Harry and the movie Harry as well as other characters and dialog, the portrayal of Snape never strayed too far from the original book layout.  From the beginning Snape is seeing to be hating Harry. He has not done anything wrong, but Snape hates Harry the moment he stepped into school.

Alan Rickman read the books as they came out and discovered the story step by step with the rest of the world. However in 2011, JK Rowling revealed that she has given some information to Alan Rickman which would help him play Severus Snape. In an interview, Rickman revealed, ‘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’.

Recently, after his death a fan on twitter asked her what she told him. She replied:I told Alan what lies behind the word ‘always’.This part refers to the moment when we realise that Snape never stopped loving Lily and that his actions from the beginning have been directed towards protecting Harry.  Basically, he knew from the beginning where his character’s true intentions were, even though, the audience didn’t until the very end.

Just one piece of information made the biggest difference in the world. This is a brilliant example for the history books when the bad guy ended up being a hero without the knowledge of the reader. Well done to JK Rowling and eternal gratitude to Alan Rickman for doing such justice to a character that there’s never ever any regret on how it could have been done better.


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