Alan Rickman’s secret journals are revealing new details on why the actor continued to play Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. The actor passed in January 2016 in London at 69 years of age, after quietly battling prostate cancer, which he was first diagnosed within 2005.
However, it was announced in June that Henry Holt & Company will publish Madly Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman in October, with The Guardian publishing excerpts from the journal over the weekend, unwrapping new deets on his role in the Harry Potter movies. The actor was first diagnosed with prostrate cancer before production began on the fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
He received treatment and underwent a procedure to have his prostrate removed in January 2006, and in a journal entry dated January 30, 2006, he revealed why he ‘finally’ agreed to return for Order of the Phoenix. Rickman stated in the journal, “Finally, yes to HP 5. The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says, ‘See it through. It’s your story.'”
A few months later in April, he shared an entry from the set, revealing he has never been less chatty on the set. “I realise as soon as that (Snape’s) ring and costume go on something happens. It becomes alien to be chatty, smiley, and open. The character narrows me down and tightens me up. Not good qualities on a film set. I have never been less communicative with a crew. Fortunately, Dan [Radcliffe] fills that role with ease and charm. And youth.”
Another journal entry from July 27, 2007, reveals Rickman’s thoughts after reading J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. “I have finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Snape dies heroically, Potter describes him to his children as one of the bravest men he ever knew and calls his son Albus Severus,’ Rickman says. The actor also detailed his first conversation with Rowling in October 2000, which started rather oddly.