Back in 2011, when Alan Rickman finished filming the Harry Potter movies, he dropped the bomb that J.K. Rowling had shared some top secret information with him while he was honing his portrayal of Severus Snape. In an interview with HitFix, Rickman was quick to set the story straight about not knowing all the specifics of Harry Potter and his fate. He said Rowling never told him exactly where the story was going, but just enough to make his performance as Snape as nuanced and absolutely breathtaking as it was.
“She gave me one tiny, little, left of field piece of information that helped me think that he was more complicated and that the story was not going to be as straight down the line as everybody thought. If you remember when I did the first film she’d only written three or four books, so nobody knew where it was really going except her. And its was important for her that I know something, but she only gave me a tiny piece of information which helped me think it was a more ambiguous route,” he said. Then he added, “What I knew was he was a human being and not an automaton and I knew there was some sense of protection for Harry or I worked that out. It was enough to know, I didn’t know he was a double agent.”
Rickman never said exactly what Rowling shared with him. He took that information to his grave when he passed away earlier this week. Rickman’s death has left hearts all over the world shattered. Not just Harry Potter fans, but people who have been touched by Rickman’s love of literature and theater for generations. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, penned a beautiful tribute to Rickman that we still can’t read without crying. And now in the wake of Rickman’s passing, J.K. Rowling is sharing the rest of the story of the secret conversation she had with him so long ago.
Earlier today, Rowling tweeted that the insight she gave Rickman into Snape’s character was the meaning behind the word “Always.”
The moment Snape says the word always is one of the defining moments (if not THE defining moment) of his character. You can view it here, but be prepared to shed a tear…or if you’re anything like us, be prepared to cry for the rest of day.
Always, Alan Rickman. Always…
(Image via Warner Bros.)