J.K. Rowling Reveals What She Told Rickman About Snape


J.K. Rowling stands up for those who express their grief publicly at losing Alan Rickman, and reveals the secret she told him about Snape.

Alan Rickman’s death on Thursday was a shockwave across the Potterverse. Even though those close to him knew he was dying of cancer, it was not a public battle. Coming on the heels of David Bowie’s pasing (also at age 69, and also from cancer) for many it was a hard blow. Even so, there were the heartless trolls on Twitter who couldn’t help but be snide over those grieving. After all, it wasn’t as if they knew Rickman personally. (Or Bowie for that matter.)

But J.K. Rowling, who is never afraid to express her opinions on Twitter, wasn’t having any of that. First she tweeted this article on the subject of publicly grieving for those we never met.

The quote from the article she highlighted is from the conclusion:

So do we have the ‘right’ to grieve for someone we don’t even know? Absolutely. The day we feel we cannot grieve for a hero is the day we need to question how we are approaching grief in general. And maybe through this process, we can even learn how to approach mortality and personal grief in a more uncensored way.

(Do read the entire piece at Standard Issue Magazine. It’s worth the click.)

That tweet was followed by this:

Not that I’m suggesting that all Potterheads should wear black for Rickman over the next few days, and I doubt Rowling is either. (But it would make it a little easier to identify each other in real life.)

This morning, one of Rowling’s fans tweeted her a question, as ifs the style of most of her hardcore fans, who know she actually does sometimes answer. it was a good relevant question, considering the events of the last week.

For those who don’t know what she means, it has to do with Alan Rickman’s original casting as Severus Snape back at the beginning of the movie franchise. As we all know, the novels were no where near finished, and the hints that turned into the big reveal of Lily and Severus’ friendship, and Snape’s undying love for her was years away from even being written, let alone filmed. After the series ended, Rickman revealed that Rowling has, at the time he was cast, told him a single secret about Snape.

“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.”

So what was that secret that colored his performance over the course of eight movies? One that producer David Heyman said Rickman considered so important he actually would refuse to do things directors suggested because he knew they would go against what Rowling had told him?

Of course it was.

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