‘Harry Potter’: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Dec. 30, 2011 | 12:26 p.m.
diehard Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Alan Rickman played thieving terrorist Hans Gruber in the 1988 Bruce Willis action film "Die Hard." (Peter Sorel / 20th Century Fox)

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Rickman's performance as the mad holy man from the court of the last tsar in Russia in the HBO TV movie "Rasputin" earned him a Golden Globe, as well as an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award. (HBO and Patrick Downs / Los Angeles Times)

winterguest Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Alan Rickman, second from left, made his directorial debut in 1997 with "The Winter Guest," a drama starring Emma Thompson, left, as a recent widow who wants to leave Scotland to start a new life with her son in Australia. The film racked up awards and nominations on the festival circuit. (Clive Coote / Fine Line Feature)

judas Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Rickman and Emma Thompson continued working together on multiple projects throughout the years, including "Love Actually," "Sense and Sensibility," "Harry Potter" and the 1998 thriller "Judas Kiss." The pair were shooting that film when this 1997 photo was taken. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

galaxyquest Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

In the sci-fi spoof "Galaxy Quest," Rickman played a Shakespearean actor who finds fame (and frustration) for his role as a wise alien on television. (Murray Close / DreamWorks)

hp1 Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Rickman made his debut as the prickly professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." (Peter Mountain / Warner Bros.)

loveactually Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Rickman played a businessman whose crush on his secretary led to marital struggles in the 2003 Golden Globe-nominated romantic comedy "Love Actually." (Peter Mountain / Universal Studios)

hitchhikersguide Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

While "Harry Potter" costar Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick) played Marvin the Paranoid Android in the 2005 film "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," based on the books by Douglas Adams, Alan Rickman lent his voice to the part. (Laurie Sparham / Touchstone Pictures)

sweeneytodd Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Alan Rickman played the evil Judge Turpin in Tim Burton's 2007 movie "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." (Peter Mountain / DreamWorks / Warner Bros.)

alice Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Rickman again worked with Tim Burton, voicing the Caterpillar in the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland." (Disney Enterprises)

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Rickman reprised the role of Severus Snape in each of the seven sequels, culminating in a heartbreaking performance in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros.)

seminar Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Alan Rickman, third from left, bows during the curtain call at the Broadway play's opening night of "Seminar" at The Golden Theatre in New York. Rickman played an acerbic mentor to young writers in the play by Theresa Rebeck. (Robin Merchant / Getty Images)

No one sneers or snarls quite like Alan Rickman and, looking back on a cinematic decade of “Harry Potter,” his Severus Snape now stands as the franchise’s most fascinating figure after being revealed in the eighth film as misunderstood double-agent motivated by long-lost love.

According to David Yates, the director of the final four “Potter” movies, there was a similar sort of aura around Rickman on the set when he wore the black robes and sour scowl of his character even when the cameras weren’t rolling.

“My early reaction to Alan was, ‘Wow, he’s really prickly and quite unpleasant,'” Yates said during a recent Los Angeles visit. “But there’s a method to his madness. I realized that he has to get in that zone when he’s on the set. When I finally met him away from the job, he was a lovely guy. I don’t know that he shows that to everyone, though. I think Alan is also shy — painfully shy, in fact — and he believes his craft should have an element of mystery to it. He sees no value in talking about it too much or dissecting it too much.”

alanrickman Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Actor Alan Rickman. (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Perhaps, but reached by phone in New York, Rickman was more than willing to express his affection for the “Potter” creative team and cast. He spoke fondly of the three young stars at the center of the magical epic — Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – and cited “the unique experience” of “watching the movies grow up with the children” as the years brought a darker story tone and evolving cast dynamic.

“It was a punctuation mark in my life every year because I would be doing other things but always come back to that and I was always aware of my place in the story even as others around me were not,” Rickman said. “Am I sad? The point about a great story is that it’s got a beginning, a middle and end. The ending of this story was quite popular and beautifully judged by Jo Rowling and David Yates, so it’s not a cause for sadness; it’s a cause for celebration that it was rounded off so well.”

Rickman’s Hogwarts odyssey was singular in one major way: Early on, years before the ending of the bookshelf series, “Potter” author J.K. Rowling took him aside and revealed the secret back story of Snape, trusting Rickman and Rickman alone with one of the biggest twists in contemporary popular fiction. That set up the actor up to portray Snape as something more complicated (and more tragic) than mere a black-caped villain.

“It was quite amusing, too, because there were times when a director would tell Alan what to do in a scene and he would say something like, ‘No I can’t do that – I know what is going to happen and you don’t,’” said “Potter” producer David Heyman. “He had a real understanding of the character and now looking back, you can see there was always more going on there – a look, an expression, a sentiment — that hint at what is to come … the shadow that he casts in these films is a huge one and the emotion he conveys is immeasurable.”

Heyman, like Yates, admits to finding the “real Rickman” an elusive figure.

“I think a lot of people don’t understand Alan Rickman and I’m not sure I do,” the producer said, “but what I can say is that with that voice and that demeanor, sometimes people misinterpret him. He does have a deep voice and he does speak quite slowly and he speaks in such a way that some people might find him haughty — nothing could be further from the truth. He is one of the most generous people and most brilliant actors I’ve ever met.”

In the end, Snape was revealed as a hero and now the “Potter” producers and Warner Bros. are holding out hope that Rickman might do the same for them; the classically trained 65-year-old actor is the last great hope to bring home the franchise’s first Oscar nomination in an acting category.

Despite all of the “Potter” franchise’s box-office magic (the films have grossed $7.7 billion in worldwide box office and sold more than 165 million DVDs) the spell has never worked on academy voters. The series has a mere nine Oscar nominations to date and all of them in technical categories. To shed that hex, Warner Bros. has splurged on a lavish campaign ( it even included “For Your Consideration” billboards around Los Angeles) to persuade Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences voters that (like the final “The Lord of the Rings” movie) the finale of this fantasy mega-franchise deserves some nomination and trophy love.

hp1 Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Rickman made his debut as the prickly professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." (Peter Mountain / Warner Bros.)

That may not be in the cards but if it is, no one is more deserving than Rickman or Maggie Smith, according to Yates, who ranked them as the two best actors in “Potter” cast. That’s saying quite a lot  too, considering the “Potter” ensemble is a veritable who’s who of contemporary British and Irish actors with Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, John Hurt, Emma Thompson and the late Richard Harris to name just a few.

Harris portrayed Dumbledore in the first two films but succumbed to Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October of 2004. Gambon picked up the baton for the rest of the series and put his own stamp on the character – there was less twinkle in the eye but more gravel in the gut – and Rickman made a point to underline the importance of both headmasters.

“It was hard losing Richard so early on but it was a great gift to find Michael to pick up those reins and it was a gift to have two Dumbledores to work with,” Rickman said. “The rest of the cast stayed steady. You didn’t see the cast come and go, just get taller.”

Like many of the “Potter” stars, Rickman has considerable stage work in his past and (like Hurt, Fiennes, Gambon and Branagh) he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The theater still beckons to him with the intensity of being on a “roller coaster and in a ballgame at the same time” and since last month, Rickman has been on Broadway performing in Theresa Rebeck’s new play, “Seminar,” in which he portrays a bitter novelist with a savage tongue.

galaxyquest Harry Potter: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

In "Galaxy Quest," Rickman played a frustrated Shakespearean actor who finds fame on sci-fi television series. (Murray Close / DreamWorks)

“It’s exhilarating,” he said with languid baritone that “Potter” fans know so well. “It feels like we started three years ago but I think it’s more like a week. We’re still learning.”

On the silver screen, Rickman has veered back and forth between popcorn films and art house pursuits as well as dramas that fall somewhere in the middle. He is well known to moviegoers for his droll turns in big popcorn projects such as “Die Hard,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Galaxy Quest” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” as well and his nimble work in less bombastic films such as “Truly, Madly, Deeply,”  “Love Actually,” “An Awfully Big Adventure,” “Michael Collins” and Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

He picked up an armful of awards for HBO’s “Rasputin” —  he took home an Emmy, a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for playing the “mad monk” of old Russia — and he has also stepped into a different spotlight as the director of “The Winter Guest,” both on stage in London’s West End and for the feature-film version starring future “Potter” c0star Thompson back in 1997.

“You try to find things that are challenging and interesting and hopefully it will be the same to the audience,” Rickman said. “It’s interest in drifting on the one hand but it’s also a question of what people decide to offer you. Right now with this play, for instance, I hear unbelievable laughter every night and that’s a huge treasure chest. At the same time sometimes there’s dead silence, and that’s a great pack of cards to be given.”

When years to come people reflect on Rickman’s career, Snape will likely be considered the ace card and the eight “Potter” movies his winning hand – and that will be the case no matter what happens this Oscar season. For the actor, the acceptance speech that matter most is his thank you to Rowling for creating the complex tapestry of a huge wizard epic where Snape was the most mysterious thread.

“It’s completely staggering that she had all of that in her head,” Rickman said. “Rumor has it that she put the ending in a bank vault when she was writing the beginning. So she held it all in her head, all seven books. It’s jaw-dropping, really. When we started she had only written three of the books so it was like trying to walk down two potential roads not at all knowing what the end would be but having some sense of what that man’s life was,” Rickman said. “I knew with Snape I was working as a double agent, as it turns out, and a very good one at that.”

— Geoff Boucher


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124 Responses to ‘Harry Potter’: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

  1. Barbara W. says:

    Never could understand why the Harry Potter films were never recognized for their brilliance in acting, special effects, writing, directing, cinematography, etc nor received all manner of rewards. There is nothing to compare them to, so unique is the entire concept, and actualization from books to screen. They were intended for younger generations but they engulfed a world-wide audience, including senior citizens. Myself being one of the latter could not wait for the next book release, nor any of the movies. I am among the millions who were sad to see the series come to an end, and hold hope that J.K. Rowling will give in and write one more! Even to know what the three main characters (Harry, Hermione, Ron) offspring would get up to in a peaceful Hogwarts would be fun to read. Naturally I loved the young stars but my favorite character was Snape. There were little give-aways in his character that revealed there was more to him than working for the dark side. But the entire series had such complete character development, it was truly difficult to not love the whole package. So deserving of major film awards – may they start – finally!!!!!

    • JJM says:


    • Kate says:

      Beautifully said!!

    • Ampraxu says:

      Harry Potter books are the most appreciated books in my English reading materials. I am not a child any more. To be honest I am a 25 years old man. I have read Harry Potter twice already and the favorite character is Snape. He is a man who loves but bears pain, who cannot speak what he really needs to do and who dies for Harry who has never really understood him before the moment he dies. Essentially I adore his loyalty to his love and responsibility. But I don't think J.K.Rowling should write more books about Harry's, Ron and Hermine's offspring, because this would be not so interesting as Harry's. There must be an end. But Rowling has given us enough imagination about their offspring.

    • Megs says:

      Barbara, you hit the nail on the head. Why the whole cast and crew aren't given special awards for service to moive-making is beyond me. All the cast were great portrails of their character and I salute them all, as well as the special effects team and so on, for making it look as amazing as it did.

    • Joe Blackberry says:

      I know the secrets behind the entire HP franchise….there is WAY more to this story than the innocence that resides at the surface because it is a major conspiracy….(cobra_chat@yahoo.com)

    • tim says:

      all i heard was blah blah blah, maybe the reason they didn't win all kinds of awards, is because you are one of the only ones who feels like it was worthy. I certainly do not.

      • C.S. says:

        Is that why Daniel Radcliffe was recently named Entertainer of the Year and is enjoying post-Potter success both on stage and screen? Is that why Rupert Grint continues to act as well, most recently in Wild Target with Bill Nighy? No, I think you’re right, Troll…they don’t deserve any accolades. After all, they’re just stupid child actors…right?

    • Aidan says:

      The reason is that none of them are Oscar worthy, at least as far as Best Picture/Director goes. Certainly they had good special effects, and an absolutely amazing cast, but the execution in terms of direction, storyline and script is lacking in every single episode of the series.

    • exactly! it's about time they did recognise not just Harry Potter but Alan Rickman as well! I was amazed that he never got an Oscar for Robin Hood Prince of Thieves quite frankly! It's not a surprise that Alan Rickman prefers working in the theatre to working on film!

  2. Margaret says:

    Alan was the perfect Snape!

  3. Gina says:

    I've been watching the awards season roll on with absolutely no recognition for Rickman or Deathly Hallows Part 2, and it has been frustrating because I truly thought that this time we would finally see a Harry Potter film get the recognition it deserves! Rickman's portrayal of the enigmatic Professor Snape over the period of ten years is nothing short of phenomenal, and it's culmination in the final film still haunts me.

  4. guest says:

    There's a reason none of the previous Potters were nominated for the major awards – they didn't deserve to be. The last installment though . . . I doubt there will be a best actor or actress nomination, but supporting, director, and best picture certainly. It was by far the best in the series.

    • Ted says:

      Honestly, all this hype around the last movie is ridiculous. If you read the books, and loved them the last 10 minutes should have caused quite a headache. Alan wasn't any better or any worse in this movie than all the previous ones…

  5. Lee says:

    Totally sad that the Oscars won't be flowing HP or Alan's way. No one deserves it more

  6. Lisa Davis says:

    The books were filled with hints about Snape and his relationship to Lily Potter. It was not that hard to figure out that they were once close. I read about speculations on their relationship years ago. While I loved the books, but the movies had a problem with what to eliminate and make into a movie format. Overall, there were some good acting scenes in each movie but I usually came out of the theater with a headache. Too much action in too little time. I think "The Lord of the Rings" was better suited to turn into a movie, simply because there were less plot twists and the pacing was much better. There was no need for secrecy since these books had been around for years. I got sick of all the hype about how the movie would end when the last book had been published more than a year ago. Personally, I doubt any of the actors will be up for awards. The adult roles could have been done in about one month. No adult has much dialogue. The three young stars are very good but not that good yet. Alan Rickman was brilliant but with such a small part in the movie, I doubt his chances for getting an award unless you count all of his scenes together.

    • Mark Kingsford says:

      While you're probably right that Alan Rickman unfortunately will not be recognized by The Academy, it won't necessarily be because his part was, as you say "small". Dame Judi Dench won an Oscar for appearing in a movie for all of 8 minutes! So there is always hope!!!

    • Nicole says:

      A person can win an Oscar if the performance is there, regardless of screen time. Take Anthony Hopkins win of Best Actor for Silence of the Lambs. He only had 16 minutes of screen time.

  7. Alexander Martin says:

    My favorite actor, hands down!

  8. Keith Fahey says:

    If a storyline begins with the murder of one's parents, and if their blasted child survives, a child who must be dealt with, annihilated at all costs, how can inevitable events be called taking on "a darker story tone"?

    • Liutgard says:

      Keith, we didn't always know that Harry was anything more than an anomaly. Something went wrong when Voldemort attempted to kill him, but no one knew what. And it wasn't until Order of the Phoenix that anyone knew that Harry was in a kill-or-be-killed relationship with Voldemort. The stakes- and the threat to Harry is unfolded over time. Not revealed at the inception.The 'taking on a darker tone' is what happens as these things unfold. The books don't have an omniscient narrator- we are as surprised as Harry is as things progress.

      • Jenn says:

        liutgard, i tend to agree more with keith. if voldemort tried to kill harry as a child and was unable to, even brought about his own downfall doing so, i would tend to think that should that villian rise back to power, he would want to eliminate the source of his embarrassment, prophecy or no. all the characters should have realized that, and in fact DID realize that, before the prophecy was revealed. the shock of the prophecy was more about the fact that it HAD to be harry, and no one else, to defeat voldemort, and could harry bring himself to murder someone.

        on the other side of things, keith, i believe what reviewers mean when they say "taking on a darker tone" refers more to the fact that rowling never shied away from killing off characters, when other authors would. i remember there being quite an explosion from parents protesting about cedric's death. don't get me wrong, i completely agree with the direction rowling took the books, but as i said, other authors might have shied away from such a "gritty" thing in a children's book.

  9. Drew says:

    A BRILLIANT actor/artist!!! I am in awe of his talent. Bravo!!

  10. Guest says:

    Because the writing was atrocious and spoke to a level that appealed to children and semi-literate adults. The first couple books were a ton of nonsense and twenty pages of "OH BY THE WAY…" as she desperately sought to fill in the plot holes. The movies were redeemed by their visuals and a few very good actors.

    • angie says:

      It's too bad that you probably didn't even read the rest of the books. The first few were written at a younger level, but the books grew up as her audience aged. Some of the lines from the books give me chills–and I have been reading at a post-high school level since fifth grade. I know what good writing is. Please do yourself a favor and finish the series. It's amazing.

      • Mark says:

        I am a huge potter fan and read the books, watched all the films tons of times. But yeah she has serious writing problems. Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets were without question very amateur in almost all aspects but even through the Deathly Hallows she struggled. Especially with describing action. You’re guess is as good as mine as to what was actually happening during action scenes in the book. She also struggled with sentence structure, yes even in Deathly Hallows. She had errors you wouldn’t expect to find even in a high school essay on nearly every other page. She also had a problem with verbiage. She over-expressed simple things and complicated sentences when they could have been expressed clearly otherwise. It was a great story and I loved it all but she had a pretty horrible writer.

    • Anon says:

      troll alert

    • Katelyn says:

      Are you serious, J.K. Rowling is an extremely talented writer and her series of Harry Potter has become the most widespread read and known books almost everywhere. To say that the first couple of books were nonsense is a ridiculous plea for attention from yourself to wish you could write something so interesting and inviting. She continued the EIGHT books without faulting once with the twists, turns, character changes, and events and if you think any of if was 'filling in', you are very wrong because everything she wrote come back to have a play somewhere in ending the series.. BRILLIANTLY i might add.

      • Bella says:

        Actually there are only SEVEN books in the series, not counting the supplemental readings (such as Tales of Beedle the Bard).

    • Guest says:

      I know several writers and readers who would disagree with this comment. You know nothing of literature if you do not understand the impact that Harry Potter has brought to the writing world. Perhaps it's not serious literature, but this series has made YA books the top selling category and has made children – and adults – read again, whereas before it the market was considerably smaller. So perhaps it's not your cup of tea, but you must appreciate what it has done for writing and reading in general.

    • Adam says:

      Are you a fan of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" then? Or how about "The Hangover 2" or "Jackass 3"? Your rambling barely comes off as B.S.! In fact, for the excrement that of a bull would be a compliment for what you just spewed. And I love how you throw out, "few very good actors.". The Harry Potter movies were littered with real actors, not some floozy, sex symbol wannabe that plays countless characters in the exact same preference as all their others. Sad that you deem the book's writing atrocious.

    • Randall says:

      The first book was written in the voice of an 11 year old, because the characters were 11. The books perfectly represented the thought process of each age group as they gets older and begin to understand what is going on around them. Before you make judgement, you should read the whole series keeping that in mind.
      JKR wasn't desperately trying to fill in plot holes. She didn't need to, because she had everything planned out ffrom the begining. Everything set up the final book where Harry finally and truly understands Voldemort at just the right time to give his knowledge power. The last book wrapped up the story with a perfectly rounded ending. The ending help such poetic justice because it so perfectly complimented the end.
      Think what you will about them, but know that just because you don't like these books, doesn't make it bad writting. The way you purposfully went on this article just to complain when you don't know what you're even talking about tells more about you than it does about the book. I have read many books from many genres, and I can tell you that the Harry Potter series was a beautiful peice of writting.

    • stacey says:

      who are you calling semi-literate adults I think you have it all wrong on that part I love more than just Harry Potter I think you would change your mind if you tried Acting on the stage it is not easy alot of people might think its easy but its not so watch who you call semi-literate!

  11. David Thompson says:

    I'm not a fan of the Harry Potter movies, but…every time I hear the "Ode To Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, I see, in my mind's eye, the look on Hans Gruber's face as the last lock is released and the door of the Nakatomi safe opens…

  12. Bonnie Lograsso says:

    I'am, in America, I'am 72 yrs. old. I liked the Magic.It made me want to dream, again, to see life, as, children see it.and, to jusr enjoy.

    • lan marie says:

      i love this

    • Laura Burkhardt says:

      Bonnie…you go girl! I'm right there with ya! I loved the magic and the fantasy and the ability to fall into it. I think people are damned tired of reality TV and watching people break themselves for no apparent reason. I'm 47 but I can see that while technology is wonderful; the age of instant gratification has taken some of the magic from our kids. That's something we had and they may never know. Thank you Ms. Rowling and all involved in the Harry Potter series for bringing some magic back.

  13. Gaston b says:

    I fell in love with Alan Rickman when I saw "Truly, Madly, Deeply." It's a kind of a mess of a movie but the characters are completely believable. You can believe that desperate loss can bring back a love – and you can believe that ghosts can say goodbye. Makes me tear up just thinking about Alan's final goodbye. Rent it!

  14. Annie & Family says:

    Snape such a flawed and complex character was depicted flawlessly by Alan Rickman. My family & I feverently hope that Alan receives a nomination.

  15. journeyer says:

    In the book Severus Snape was the quintessential tortured soul. Alan Rickman played this character to perfection. His portrayal of Severus, by all accounts should win him an Oscar.
    Alan was the best choice for a role that was at once detestable and on the other hand a character that was so involved as to make him seem the most evil and vile person in Harry's life. I applaud the work Alan Rickman did, he could not have done anything better in his life than to choose to play Severus Snape.
    Yet I am amazed at the lackluster reception that the whole of the Harry Potter series of movies has garnered. Though this last movie could and should be one of the most acclaimed of the series, it will not garner the accolades that it should. Being realistic, this started out a children's series of books, but it evolved into a story as dark and demanding as any Greek mythological epic as ever was written. No one one person was totally evil, except Voldemort, and no one person was totally good. It seems a tragedy that the Harry Potter series of films never included most of the pertinent information but was rather a cursory glance into the character's life.
    My idea would be to, animate the series using the book as a guideline. Not leaving out the most important parts but rather making of the books a true epic worthy of the name, Mythology.

  16. Ron says:

    "Don't…lie…….to me. "

    It's not just the way he says lines like these, it's his entire presence. There's few words to describe it, he's just a fantastic actor.

  17. Local Man says:

    Rickman is a terrific actor. He is one of the best "bad guy" actors ever, able to be evil and threatening, while still keeping a comedic touch when appropriate. He is always great, even in bad movies (Robin Hood, Quincy Down Under). And as wonderful as he was in the Harry Potter films, I'll never forget his wonderfully funny character in Galaxy Quest and his wonderfully restrained performance in Sense and Sensibility.

  18. Ms. Chevious says:

    If a 38 year old Richman had played Snape (as was his age in the book), all the young girls would want to be Slytherins.

    • DSDSF says:

      LOL Alan Rickman IS hot. Would have loved to be a Slytherin, but Ravenclaw it is for me. They're good too =]

    • JongKhan says:

      What makes you think they don't anyway? If you look at any of his film clips on YouTube–and not just from the HP series–you'll find comments from 13 and 14-yr-olds saying things like "I don't care if he's old enough to be my grandfather, I think he's hot!" At first I found that appalling–then remembered back in the mid '60s I had the very same reaction to Rex Harrison in MY FAIR LADY. A sexy man appeals to all female age groups, period.

    • imagin8io says:

      As a 22 year old who has had a MASSIVE crush on the man for probably at least 5 years and I'm probably not the only one, it's not his age that matters ;).

  19. Melissa says:

    I really admire Alan Rickman. As Snape, in Die Hard and most of all in Sense and Sensibility.

  20. Kath says:

    i think he deserves an oscar. he WAS snape and he encompassed the character as any other oscar nominee would have. if hp 8 doesn't get any nods, i'll be very very dissapointed

  21. apt221bbakerst says:

    I disagree with some of the comments in that I think that HARRY POTTER should have been nominated a long time ago. Most of Hollywood's movies are crap and that also goes for the screen writings. Any of the Harry Potter movies should have had some kind of nomination and hopefully this year they will not be overlooked like they have in the past.

  22. Sue Sturges says:

    I'm the same age as Alan. I see a very handsome man! Love his part in Harry Potter…..they could have used him more! I'd like to see Alan do more animated voice parts, too, with his body languageI hope the new play sweeps across America with great reviews! Alan Rickman is brilliant…..I like all the positive comments said.

  23. jen says:

    alan rickman is the best actor of harry potter and i think he deserves a nomination

  24. katie says:

    I think that Alan Rickman deserves every award there is for the portrayal of snape over the past ten years, me being a 15 year old girl has been captivated by his performance and snape has remained one of my favourite characters. However the one reason I believe harry potter has never won an oscar, is because the oscars are american and harry potter is an all british cast- I am from Britain and I genuinley cannot see a single reason other than this as to why they have not had a decent oscar nomination after 10 years of amazing acting talent.

    • Cindy says:

      I am American and the reason why HP never gets nominated has nothing to do with the fact that the awards are American. It has to do with the fact that (I love these books BTW)when it comes down to it they are childrens books. The Academy only recgonizes the artsy films that barely make money in the box office (remember the Kings Speech won awards last year). Movies like HP are under their radar. Look at Johnny Depp. I think he is an amazing actor, he can do any role, but he has been passed over twice for an Oscar and he’s American, but he’s different. And that is what they don’t get. The Academy doesn’t like things that they don’t understand. The LOTR books are called Classics, maybe in 50 years or so HP will also be called a Classic. I DO think that Alan Rickman is an amazing actor and that he DOES deserve a nomination, even a win. I am a big Star Wars fan and I see HP going in that direction, techincal awards and nothing else. Granted the dialogue in SW is not the best, but an Oscar for best picture should have been given to ROTJ for the whole series like with LOTR:ROTK. I hope that the HP movies will FINALLY get something out of next years Oscars. It deserves it.

  25. roger says:

    I loved alan rickman in Dogma he is Brileyent and can portray anyrole ive seen

  26. Kim Barnhart says:

    The Potter series- books & films are some of the best if not the best I've ever experienced!! I sincerely hope Rickman gets an Oscar ; which is well deserved.

  27. Luciana says:

    Even knowing what his fate was in the end, I sobbed copiously watching Snape die. Rickman is one of the best actors in the HP series, no doubt!

  28. S D says:

    Love, love, love Alan Rickman! Such a talented actor. I cannot imagine anyone portraying the role of Snape with even half the talent he did. I agree he deserves recognition!

  29. Bahadir says:

    Snape character is the most fascinating and interesting one I have ever watched ! Totaly adorable ! And yeah Barbara W. you are precisely right about every single word of yours. But I'm expecting a film that's gonna tell us about the lives of Lilly and James Potter and their fight against The Dark Lord…

  30. Stephen Hathaway says:

    I think I am most drawn into the character because all the time you have to keep guessing at the answers, you think your guess is correct and then a crucial point of emotion or detail that leads the audience into whole new track of thought. I’m doing a qualification in drama so do you have any tips on how to develop a character.


  31. Paula says:

    I can assure you, there will be no nomination for Deathy Hallows 2 or Rickman. I will eat my hat in delight if there is. Academy voters have always seemed to me to be haughty cinema elites. Especially the acting voters. If the role doesn't include a lot of arm waving, flailing about, rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, forget about getting recognized. I'm exaggerating, but you get my gist. Not saying that those who have won were not deserving, I just see voters gravitating to specific kinds of performances. Mr. Rickman's exquisitely subtle performance in a still perceived as "children's movie" does not fit the voters restrictive criteria.

  32. Linda says:

    You got it, exactly, Ron…it's Alan Rickman's entire presence! I'll miss his Snape the most! Hope the Academy recognizes his talents.

  33. Alison Taylor says:

    There was some excellent casting for the HP films, but having also read all of the books (numerous times), Alan Rickman as Professor Snape was the most accurate. He is an awesome actor!!

  34. carol says:

    in the words of Leonard Cohen "we are all cracked, that's how the light gets in" Sums up Snape perfectly. it will be a travesty if Rickman doesn't walk away with an oscar for his portrayal.. oh wait, it's the academy.. travesty is their middle name.

  35. Lori says:

    One of the best, and most under-rated, actors in the business!

  36. Hermetta Pillion says:

    I adored the character, always trusted Snape simply because Dumbledore trusted him. And I adore Mr. Rickman…

  37. Sharon in Washington says:

    I read all the books and saw each film as each hit the ground. I came out of the first moving saying, “Rickman IS Snape. He is completely correct in every way.” I exited the final picture telling my husband that “Alan Rickman deserves the Oscar for this character, especially in this movie.” Rickman is amazing – as others here have so aptly stated. There was always something going on in his eyes that spoke of more…. He is the master of the faint eyebrow lift and ever-so-subtle lip curl, and both spoke volumes. Phenomenal actor who completely deserves an Academy Award. I’m very glad to hear that the studio is publicizing the idea. Go Alan!

  38. rick says:

    I've always been a fan of Harry Potter and I must say that despite what everyone says, I think the last movie did not justice to the book, missed important things were to be counted, and the high emotional toll of last book was transmitted to the movie, scenes like the death of fred and lupine, Crabbe so some memorable fights were not well described. And so it has been since the order of the phoenix sirius's death, the half blood prince with the death of Dumbledore and hollows part 1 with the departure of the dursly. and that is why my favorite of the series is the goblet of fire. Alan Rickman deserves its oscar but not the whole movie.

  39. Linda says:

    Not to go off-subject, but I cannot believe that the word despicable got censored in journeyer's comment above–which of course means it will be censored here, too–because the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th letters of the word would spell out a racial epithet that is politically incorrect. Seriously??? So now we have to worry about what PART of a word would spell IF it stood alone as one word? So I guess the word snigger can't be used–a perfectly good English word that has nothing to do with race, and if you don't believe it, look it up–oh wait, I guess that will be censored here, too…? Are you freaking kidding me??? What is this world coming to?

  40. Guest says:

    Rickman was a wonderful choice to play Snape. I said that when the movie series started since I had been familiar with his other acting roles. He totally fit my perception of Snape from the books. I remember when The Half-blood prince was released… I was always Team Snape, and the book caught me off guard, but I just could not get it through my head that he was all bad. I loved how the movie portrayed the memory scene between Harry and Snape.. that to me was the part of the book that I cried the most, knowing that Snape was good all along. I thought that the writing was beautiful, and the characters very rich. I had so much fun on the journey. I love series books, and I am an avid reader and writer. I am a school teacher and I have read HP to my kids several years ago. The books left you hanging on every chapter… and yes I was at every midnight release… and had the new books read in a matter of a couple of days. Mr. Rickman, my hat is off to you…..you played the stage!

  41. Leann Moody says:

    An absolute fan of the books and movies, I think Rickman one of the finest actors of our time. I have seen all of his movies and no one could deserve the recognition more.

  42. Priyanka says:

    Definitely Harry Potter movies deserve to win Oscar, esp. the last one. I wonder why Lord of the Rings was recognised and Harry Potter series was not!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always found Potter series much better than Lord of the Rings, No series has touched us(me and the people known to me) more than this one:)))))))))) It has not only touched our hearts but also our souls, and it will remain there forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Carol Riley Cain says:

    I've always loved Rickman as Snape. Before I read the last book, I always told everyone there was something else to that character. Loved Snape, even though he was one of the antagonists for Harry.

  44. Whisper says:

    I met him after a performance of 'Seminar' and, as the author of this article states, he is a charming, gracious actor. He was a powerhouse and frighteningly intense while performing so it's easy to assume he would be as intimidating off stage as on. But then he smiles.

    He's one of the best, most professional actors in the business. He deserves all the recognition he gets and more besides.

  45. Maria says:

    Snape ranks along with Darthy in the Annals of film history.

  46. Linda Quesnel says:

    The character Snape, spoke deeply to us all, about our singularity in this world, and our connection to the whole. Snape was a flash of utter brilliance that I don't expect to see again. We are all much more than can be seen. Our love of Snape is our recognition of our love for ourselves and each other
    which is the brilliance of the Harry Potter series. J.K.Rowling was conscripted to deliver the Light, which was her work; and she certainly did and brilliantly so, with the help of many, many others. Thank You to all who brought us this excellent gift.

  47. guest says:

    I'll watch any movie Alan Rickman is in…he's brilliant! He also happens to manage tosteal not only every scene he's in but usually the movie itself. when he was cast as Snape, I was way ahead with reading the books so i knew where it was headed…and I'll be damn…he just so happened to be cast in THE character that would steal our hearts forever in a series of SEVEN movies!! Bravo Mr Rickman…my most favorite actoe of all my time.

  48. David Asche says:

    I watched Alan Rickman in "Quigley Down Under" with Tom Seleck, again in "Die Hard" with Bruce Willis, then again with Tim Allen in "Galaxey Quest" and he has done very well in them, but when you consider he did all those at the same time he was doing the "Harry Potter" series, his skills are amazing.

    • cool arrow says:

      Though Mr. Rickman did multiple roles whilst filming the Harry Potter series, the three you mentioned were not amonst them. Die Hard came out in 1988, Quigley Down under in 1990, and Galaxy Quest in 1999. The 1st Harry Potter Movie came out in 2001. However, The Search For John Gissing, Love Actually, Snow Cake, Bottle Shock, Nobel Son, and Sweeney Todd, are some of my favorite Rickman films, all done during the years of the Potter series. I have to say, one of my favorite films of Mr. Rickman's is Closet Land. It is a must see for any fan.

  49. laura says:

    Snape has always been a favourite character of mine when I started reading the books and continued over to the big screen. Alan Rickman brought him to life and you believe he is Snape. I love his back story and J.K Rowling did an amazing job weaving the story lines that bind the books in mystery, danger, love and magic…!

    • Polly says:

      I agreed with you since Snape are my favorite character! You just believe that Alan Rickman was Snape himself since he was excellent at that! Just wished that Snape should have took his time to get know Harry Potter and he had to remember that Harry is not James at all but it's too late.

  50. Malette says:

    The first role I remember seeing Rickman in was as "Ed,…The Painter" in a truly awful but fun movie with Kevin Kline, "The January Man". A supporting role with little meat on it, he got everything he could from it and to my mind it is still the best part in the movie.

    I still watch the damned thing at least once a year. So much promise, so little delivery. Still, Rickman is a gem.

  51. Danielle says:

    What bigger award do they need, besides creating a true Potter-mania in the world! Many movies with Oscars will be forgotten, but Harry Potter? I doubt it!

  52. Laura says:

    A possible reason that HP films have been ignored by awards associations: They were assumed to be 'children's' movies; therefore not taken seriously. It's the same reason that comedies are often ignored by the Oscars.

    I feel sorry for people who think they are too mature for myth, magic and fantasy. These were wonderful books, worthy of comparison to Tolkein and C.S. Lewis (who, I'm sure, would have liked these books very much indeed!).

  53. Ann says:

    I've never understood "the academy" …. I've seen some of the "so called" best movies of the not so distant past and came out of the theater completely confused by their awards.

    With the HP series, besides the stories being so mind boggling, one gets to know the characters and when one dies, there is real heartfelt loss. I'm a 57 year old woman who has read the books and still watch the movies (pick up new things each time).

    I agree that Alan Rickman deserves acknowledgement for his roll as Snape. He was absolutely evil when needed to be, and soft at the end when he needed to be.

    The HP movies, and Alan Rickman, were terrific and deserve the recognition the Academy gives.

  54. Geoff says:

    I would like to support what some of the others like Bonnie and Paula and Cindy said. My wife and I are in our fifties now and with the market crash we have to work real hard for wages which are not that great. We are on a tight budget. A trip to the movies for us is a treat where we can forget about our own troubles and life. We want to be entertained and we want to live in a different world even if it is only for a few hours. For us that is the point of going to the movies.

    So I read Hollywood folk are concerned about the viewing ratings for the oscars. Well if they keep nominating movies that most folk don’t go to see then most folk won’t be tuning in because they got no real interest in the matter. Personally we stopped watching it a few years ago.

    All the fine clothes and cars and fancy stuff you see in Hollywood. Who do you think paid for it all? Well, I’ll tell you. Millions of folk like us who pay to see the entertaining films like Harry Potter which make money sure enough but never get any of the real oscars because they are not arty enough.

    The Harry Potter movies should be recognized in the oscars. They brought magic into our lives. We paid to see every single one. All the cast did well but for us Alan Rickman was Snape. He is a fine actor. If he gets a nomination we will even watch the show.

  55. Ken C says:

    As Snape dies, I love how Rickman allows the irritated teacher to erupt one last time as he has to tell Potter to catch his tears – something Harry should have known to do. It's a subtle move, but I thought it was brilliantly played.

    Despite not being "the star", Rickman dominates the screen whenever he's on, and his characters are the most memorable.

  56. merlin of WV says:

    I told my husband and son there was more to Snape than met the eye from the first book. (In fact I won a Steak Dinner on this one) No actor I know could have played the double agent as well as Rickman. I think it would be the ultimate honour for the movies to see Alan Rickman nominated and even win! I would vote for him.

  57. Jerusalen says:

    No one deserves the Oscar nominations( and winning them) than Harry Potter.

  58. John Gillette says:

    You could see the beginnings of an interesting career once you saw him as Obadiah Slope in The Barchester Chronicles. Snape as a politically aggressive Anglican Priest.

  59. Lena says:

    I first noticed Alan Rickman in “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” Although a small personal “art” film–you can’t help falling in love with him like his onscreen wife (widow) does.

    I was so happy he got this part in HP–it would be hard to believe that there could have been a better choice.

  60. Polly says:

    Always love Alan Rickman since he was excellent and brilliant at being any Villians but his most famous and only most memoriable acting as Professor Snape just WOW!! Alan Rickman deserves Oscars period for his role as Professor Snape for past ten years.. One thing I only wish that Professor Snape take a time to get know Harry Potter and have to remember that Harry is not James at all since Harry never grew up with his parents. Oh well.

  61. sayhi2yourmom4me says:

    I definately think Alan Rickman needs to do the voice for automated phone menus as well as perhaps car GPS systems

  62. Jim says:

    History of Oscars is that the Academy members get very jealous of the success of big blockbusters, with a sentiment akin to "they've made more money that all of us, so let somebody else get the trophies." The studio, WP, is looked down upon by some in Hollywood as "a bunch of TV guys, not real film makers." Also, even though Brits have won lots of Oscars before, having a movie that's so quintessentially British in style, cast, writing, etc. provokes another kind of jealousy. I'm not sure previous HP movies merited much Oscar attention — maybe the first did — but this last one should be celebrated by the industry, not just for the achievements on screen but for what this series did to preserve interest in movie magic, and what should be REALLY important to Hollywood how it rekindled love for reading among kids AND adults at a time when computer games, movies, TV, texting, and Facebook are sucking away kids' attention. Because if kids don't grown up reading well, they won't write well or appreciate great writing, and since movies whether the screenplays are originals or adaptations require a foundation of great storytelling to be effective, book series like Harry Potter probably added many, many years of profitable existence to Hollywood.

  63. Severus Snape is a one-of-a-kind character made by JK Rowling and well-portrayed by ever talented Alan Rickman, I cant say anything but all Hail To Harry Potter and the people behind its existence. Guys, I actually copied this article to my Harry Potter blog for my viewers to also read it. I credited u. Just look at it and your site was accounted at the last! :) thanks!

  64. JUNAL A. GARNETT says:

    I did not read any of the books and was quite satisfied and surprised with the final moving… it gave me a sense that it was all about Severus Snape and Mr. Rickman played the role wonderfully…worthy of any and all awards that are given even in the earlier movies his character was worthy of recognition by the different award governing bodies.

  65. slelle says:

    the oscar is as pointless at the Nobel Peace prize.

  66. geedavey says:

    Galaxy Quest was a heluva movie and he was great in it as the noble character at odds with the disillusioned actor. It was a tour de force.

  67. Guest says:

    I wonder if it's like Lord of the Rings where they didn't being home any awards until the last movie was finished and then they swept. I guess we'll see

  68. SenorPlaid says:

    Actually, Alan Rickman should have been nominated for Die Hard. That was one of the great villain turns of any movie.

  69. Pico says:

    Oh Hans!!! !Alan Rickman will always ben Hans from Die Hard. My boyfriend still laughs because I even call him Hans in HP. I read all the books, but read them all before the last movie premiered (can you say *sick days?* cough) I wanted to grasp everything before I saw the last installment. Harry Potter is something that you will always remember. It is something if you have babies now you will make them watch in 15 years even if all the special effects look cheesy or dated. Ive probably seen 80% of Hans' (Lol) works and he is a truly brilliant actor!

  70. Nana yaa says:

    I’ve always like prof.snape caracter.his voice is magnificent.hope MTV does HP justice dis yr.they’ve done a great work to reckon with.awards are 4 us,dis is HP yr hurraaay!!!kudous 2 de trio.love guys

  71. Robert says:

    Ms. Rowling is as brilliant as her magnificent novels. God Bless her! The HP saga is as unique and timeless as any other great work of literature. Why? Because The Story’s The Thing. Period. What a wonderful tale, superbly well told. And Severus Snape’s role, deep in the middle of the heart of tale, is as touching and moving as any literary character’s saga that I’ve ever read. I remember thinking at the end of the Half Blood Prince, “Dumbledore couldn’t have been wrong, but how is she going to redeem Snape from this?!” I started reading the last 300 pages of Deathly Hallows at about 10:00 p.m. one night and didn’t stop until I was done the next morning. And when Severus Potter was introduced in the Epilogue, and my understanding of Ms. Rowling’s message – if we spread as much love as we possibly can, for as long as we can, we WILL live forever – blossomed, I sobbed like a baby. Bravo, Ms. Rowling!

  72. changetwilight says:

    I think I first fell for Alan Rickman in the silly movie "Robin Hood" with Kevin Costner – but I've followed him ever since! I just wish the Twilight movies could have been more like Harry Potter – in dynamics, I mean; not in storyline…

    I NEED your HELP! I'm an estranged Twilight fan who as figured out what a WRONG story Twilight Breaking Dawn is for girls – and I'm ANGRY with the book publishing company! Here's a user-friendly blog making my case & links – PLEASE pass this one? Thanks, and SO sorry about all the Twilight fuss, World! http://explaintwilightbreakingdawnending.blogspot

  73. erika says:

    Hi I am Eric, or have any hobbies

  74. Angie says:

    I became a fan of Alan Rickman from the moment I saw Die Hard. As the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, he was the best part of the film. Truly Madly Deeply, Dogma and of course like so many of you here, Severus Snape. Now, I'm going to see him next month on Broadway and I cannot wait! As for the Harry Potter movies, there was not a single bad performance in that series from the youngsters who grew up before our eyes to the cast of British A-list actors/actresses in my estimation. I loved the movies as much as the books which is not the case with me. Alan Rickman will always be an Oscar winner in my eyes, but it would be nice if Hollywood made an intelligent action for a change.

  75. Shwetabh Sharma says:

    I hate the way Snape die in the movie.Yate should bring some changes in the story line keeping this thing in mind that Snape is one of the most favorite character in the movie according to survey .May be like snape have some emotional seen with harry, or something like that . I am missing Severus so much .I was weeping after watching the movie . I Chould not stop myself thinking and dreaming about Severus Snape. He was like Harry's father more than Sirius Black.Sevrus Shows stern behavior to harry so harry (a hucrux of Voldemort's soul) could not smell the Snape's actual intention .

  76. Diane says:

    I have been a huge Alan Rickman fan for many years….in fact, today I am traveling from Philadelphia to New York City to see his performance in Seminar. No matter what he does on film or stage he is mesmerizing (another Rickman movie!) and brilliant…hands down! I can't wait to see the play and for what the future holds for this wonderful actor! Here's to an Oscar nod!

  77. Steve says:

    He was also in Dogma a comdey!!! He's a great actor!!!

  78. Maud says:

    I see no one, not even Alan Rickman, minds that Snape dies in the end. I mean seriously, what a sadistic ending! All the interesting characters die and the sickeningly wholesome ones live happily ever after and procreate. Don't make me vomit.

  79. Rick Hood says:

    I had not read the Harry Potter books until after I saw the movies. I read the books, watched all the movies again and then reread the books. I was utterly amazed at the intricate complexity that had been woven into this series. Nowhere was this more evident than in Snape's character. This is not too say that the other characters were not intricate or complex. Dumbledore was an amazingly complex personality as well. Now that I have gone through this series several times I am at a dilema. I seek something new to read and right now, it just doesn't seem that anything else is worthy. In time I know that will change. For now, I remember the series with great fondness. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this epic masterpiece, but thanks especially to J. K. Rowling for this amazing piece of literary art.

  80. MovieFan says:

    A lot of people seem to believe that lack of screen time will be the reason Alan Rickman isn't nominated for an Oscar. But there have been plenty of Oscar nominated/winning performances with limited screen time.

    Examples of short Oscar winning performances
    1.Beatrice Straight (Network) – 5:02
    2. Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) – 5:52
    3. Anthony Quinn (Lust for Life) 9 minutes
    4. Maureen Stapleton (Reds) – 9:15
    5. Gloria Grahame (The Bad and the Beautiful) – 9:32
    6. Ben Johnson (The Last Picture Show) – 9:54
    7. Jason Robards (Julia) – 10:49
    8. Jack Palance (City Slickers) – 12:24
    9. Jason Robards (All the President's Men) – 12:58
    10. Shirley Jones (Elmer Gantry) – 14:09
    11. Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) – 14:20

    Short Oscar Nominated Performances
    1. Hermione Baddeley, Room at the Top (2:32)
    2. Michael Shannon (two scenes), Revolutionary Road
    3. Viola Davis (7:30) Doubt
    4. Gloria Stuart (only a few short scenes), Titanic
    5. Ruby Dee, American Gangster, less than 10 minutes of screen time

    Personally, I think the reason he probably won't be nominated is that
    A. the movie came out in July and people have short memories
    B. They view Harry Potter as a children's movie

    I do hope he can sneak into the category the way Michael Shannon did a few years ago. Shannon was not nominated for any of the big awards coming in. I'd love to see Rickman knock Jonah Hill out of the category. He was sensational.

  81. Saint T. says:

    How can somebody both love and hate someone at once? Alan Rickman compels you to,as professor severus snape.

  82. Lily says:

    I am the biggest HP fan in my country.It was so sad that Alan Rickman was not recognized by the academy.I have read all the books and seen all the movies.I totally love snape and believes Rickman is the real snape.Alan Rickman….you rock!

  83. clarsa says:

    No mention of "Snow Cake" with Sigourney Weaver? Rickman is brilliant.

  84. Joslyn Rose says:

    I will always love Alan Rickman… thank you so much for all that you give and have given…

  85. he is great… Everyone has to admit that he is a great actor

  86. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am truly

    pleassant to read everthing at alone place.

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