Rickman Refuses To Talk About Snape

I never talk about Harry Potter because I think that would rob children of something that’s private to them.”

“I think too many things get explained, so I hate talking about it. Some child would read something I said and go, `You mean it’s not in my head, I’m not imagining that.'”

“So pardon me if I don’t talk about it. Until (the [7 1/2] Potter film franchise) is over, it should be left uncommented.”

Any actor that refuses to talk about himself or a role can’t be all bad. I’m trying, though, to picture the child he is discussing who also reads newspapers and I’m having a hard time imagining the boy or girl described. Your thoughts?


  1. The child probably wouldn’t read the newspaper directly but he would read the numerous Harry Potter websites & news sites & listen to podcasts & read blogs & thus see & hear it there. 🙂

  2. Rickman is one of my favorite actors. Before I watched Lord of the Rings my sister and I would watch a lot of like Jane Austin films. He played in Sense and Sensibility so I liked him before Snape.

    I like his attitude there.

    My, he’s gotten OLD. But then Sense and Sensibility was made in the mid-90’s.

  3. I appreciate this. He’s right– I know that, despite that I go and seek extra information out, sometimes it just makes it too common, and worse, simplifies it. The wonder of literature is the layers of meaning, the complexity, etc.

    I don’t think the child you’re trying to picture is looking at the newspaper- I think they’re looking online. My eight-year-old sister googles with ease, and were she a Potter fan I think she would very easily come across Mugglenet and the Leaky Cauldron, etc., and they report on all those things. The internet makes the world smaller in some ways.


  4. I’ve said it before–Alan Rickman is one of my favorite actors, based on the many films he has done, not just on the Harry Potter ones. Whatever role he plays, he seems to bring out something of the character that goes beyond what many actors would find in the script. So when he says that he doesn’t talk about Snape because he doesn’t want to spoil it for the children who are still reading, or haven’t read, the books, I’m pleased and applaud his artistic integrity. He is also not spoiling it (the story and portrayal of Snape) for the adults. Even for those of us who have read the books, I find that it’s a treat to see what he does with the very limited screen time Snape gets that nails the character so perfectly.

    So, thank you, Mr. Rickman. Can’t wait for the last 2+ movies.


  5. Arabella Figg says

    Class act! I’d rather have no words from Rickman than blather from Gambon.

    Cleverpuss, however, speaks his mind quite plainly…

  6. Indeed, who among us cannot read the books without seeing and hearing Rickman in our mind? I suppose that’s the case for most of the characters, but especially for Snape. (Though I still hear Richard Harris, even when reading the later books – and, oddly enough, I see and hear Eric Idle whenever I read the scenes with Lockhart.)

    I wonder in particular what he’s getting at with his comments – it’s clearly not about spoilers, since most of civilization has read the books by now, especially anyone who would want to ask him about his character.

    My guess is that he’s returning to the old tradition of letting us use our imaginations, as opposed to having everything spelled out for us. This, in a way, would be in contrast to JKR, who spelled out a number of future events in those two detailed post-DH interviews. I can still use my imagination to decide what became of Cho, for example, whereas if I were interested in Hannah Abbott’s future, that’s been, in a sense, given to me through a quasi-canonical vehicle.

    Of course, Snape’s reasoning and fate is told us in the book, but there’s much about his motivation and whatever inner struggles he went through that we are free to ponder and debate. Perhaps this is the sort of thing he wants to leave open-ended for the kids. If so, great idea.


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