We can’t write enough about how much we’ll miss Alan Rickman, the illustrious, silky-voiced British actor who passed away from cancer this past Thursday at the age of 69. He brought life to a myriad of characters – often villainous, always multi-layered. According to many of his colleagues, the characters he played were usually pretty opposite of his own personality, which was warm, kind, and inviting.
Perhaps the most famous of those characters was Severus Snape, whom he brought to life in the Harry Potter series for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. And in a letter Rickman penned for Empire Magazine before the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, was released, Rickman made it clear how much Snape meant to him. He writes about the feelings he experienced from the time he got the call from JK Rowling until the present, when he’d just finished recording his final lines for Snape.
In the letter, Rickman of course focuses less on himself and more on the impact of the people around him during his time as Snape. He writes about how proud he is of Danielle Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, as well as how grateful he is to JK Rowling not only for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime in tapping him to portray Snape, but also for keeping her word that Snape’s character arc would be something to write home about, considering only the first three books had been written when Rickman signed up for the film. She promised there was more to the character, and as we all know, she delivered.
Harry Potter fans have responded to Rickman’s passing in the sweetest way, leaving tokens of appreciation in London at Platform 9 ¾ in Kings Cross station, and also at certain Snape-worthy spots at Universal Orlando Resort’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Many fans have taken to social media to pay their respects, posting inspiring quotes by others as well as Rickman himself, plus GIFs and photos of the scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when the students raise their wands in respect for Albus Dumbledore after he dies (incidentally, by Snape’s hand).
“A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes,” may be the most poignant and presently appropriate line in Rickman’s letter, and we couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, you can pause for what seems like just a moment, and the people whose presence you took for granted may not be there anymore.
We’ll miss you so much, Alan Rickman. The world will never be the same without your kindness, grace, and talent – and we’ll always remember everything you gave to us Harry Potter fans as Severus Snape.
(Image via Warner Bros.)