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Alan Rickman Talks Playing Snape

Posted by: Mel
July 30, 2011, 03:33 PM

In a new interview, Alan Rickman discusses the challenges and pleasures of playing Professor Severus Snape:

What has it been like playing an emotionally complex, ambiguous character over these years? Has it been satisfying? Daunting? Both?
Well, it's always rewarding to play people who are complicated because that tests your acting machinery and places you right inside a great piece of storytelling because great storytelling needs ambiguous characters. It needs people where the audience and the readers don't quite know what they're about. So, there's a certain 'who-done-it' quality or 'who-thunk-it' or 'who-done-what-to-him.' And it helps you to be very concentrated. I respond to what there is on the page and what there was on the page was news to me every time we got to a new script.

Rickman also discusses filming at Leavesden Studios, and the legacy Harry Potter will leave:

Can you talk about shooting in Leavesden Studios? You think of the amazing things that we see in these films, and Leavesden Studios itself was one of the most unglamorous places but did have this magic and this family inside of it that made amazing things happen. What was it like working there?
It depended what the weather was like. It didn't have the best heating system in the world, but I was more fortunate than others with my costume, which was always pretty warm. So, on a practical level, as you say, it had its failings. But it certainly was home to us. I think what happened, really, was that over 10 years, we watched technology take up and run away with it so that at the beginning we were sometimes at Leavesden or sometimes on incredibly detailed sets on the back lot, or we were off on location somewhere. And, as time went on and CGI got better and better, we went on location less and less until the end almost not at all, because it could all be done by magic, appropriately enough. Someone waved a computerized wand, and Hogwarts and its world was just created around us.
What do you think of the legacy of these eight films, or the film series' place in the history of cinema? It has had a huge impact on British cinema, British filmmaking, but in general, what do you think the legacy will be?
Well, I hope ultimately its legacy is to make people cherish the notion of telling a story and not trying to do it by committee; that it is possible to trust a true storyteller's imagination and then serve it as honorably as possible, and that you might just wind up with something that's entertaining on the one hand, makes a load of money on the other, and gives enormous silent and not so silent pleasure to children and grownups. It's just a validation of something that we need. It's a human need to be told stories, and I don't think it can be done by committee. I think it has to be one person's imagination. So, here's to Jo Rowling and all who may sail in her.

Rickman goes on to discuss working with the young cast, Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), and J. K. Rowling's input in the films. You can read the rest of the article here.

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210 Points

I imagine it WOULD be rather complicated and interesting playing Snape… Great to see the inside view. (:

Posted by rαdιαnce° [WBM!] on July 30, 2011, 03:58 PM report to moderator
53 Points

I agree with Radiance

Posted by GryffindorSlytherinTeen on July 30, 2011, 04:21 PM report to moderator
62 Points

I agree :P
Snape’s role is very intresting :D

Posted by ElenakiMagic on July 30, 2011, 04:39 PM report to moderator
606 Points

He is the perfect Snape…I just love Alan Rickman!

Posted by Dawna on July 30, 2011, 04:44 PM report to moderator
20981 Points

Its wonderful hearing for Alan about playing Snape. He was perfect, no one could have done it better! :)

Posted by LunaLuver on July 30, 2011, 05:04 PM report to moderator
358 Points

I love his last comments about our need for storytelling. So insightful!

Posted by weasleywannabe1997 on July 30, 2011, 06:06 PM report to moderator
5439 Points

Its wonderful hearing for Alan about playing Snape. He was perfect, no one could have done it better!

Posted by Fleur-de- Lily on July 30, 2011, 06:07 PM report to moderator
55 Points

I have seen him in other productions, I must say he was Spot-on with his work on Professor Snape. I wonder why after 8 movies this series has not gotten any awards beside photography, graphics(although thoughs did take the cake). Alan definately defined this character over 10yrs and 8 films!

Posted by Rhemas on July 30, 2011, 06:17 PM report to moderator
10471 Points

I really think he played it perfectly, either he really understood Snape, or is a really good actor (:

Posted by . on July 30, 2011, 06:31 PM report to moderator
80450 Points

" by Grabthar’s hammer… by the Sons of Warvan… you shall be… avenged."

Posted by Won_Two on July 30, 2011, 07:05 PM report to moderator
4452 Points

Alan Rickman rocks!

1346 Points

Alan Rickman is so great as Snape. I love him. I thought that it was sweet that he won’t say what Jo said to him. I think that its also nice that he doesn’t want to comment on Dan and Emma, and Rupert’s special relationship.

Posted by HarryLover on July 30, 2011, 07:18 PM report to moderator
683 Points

best character , amazing actor

Posted by HalfbloodPrince08 on July 30, 2011, 07:40 PM report to moderator
2234 Points

I love Alan Rickman nobody could play Snape better!

Posted by maddison R-O-A-R on July 30, 2011, 08:40 PM report to moderator
120 Points

Snape is, without a doubt, my favourite character of the series – so this was a very satisfying read. Alan’s answers are so thorough and detailed and well thought out, as is always the case with him! It’s always nice to have insight into how the cast regard their characters, how they feel certain things have changed over the years, the legacy that the series holds, etc. Thank you for posting!

Posted by Slytherins on July 30, 2011, 08:49 PM report to moderator
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