J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels enthralled a generation of fans upon release, and it seems that stories regarding the franchise still have the power to surprise us. While the entire Potter community celebrated the 20-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, producer Paula DuPré Pesmen took the opportunity to share a touching story about the late, great Alan Rickman.
Pesmen, who produced the first three Harry Potter movies (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban), took it upon herself to conduct regular set visits for terminally ill children, giving fans a chance to experience the magic at close range. While talking about the multitude of fans who had graced the sets of Harry Potter, Pesmen singled out the story of Jay, a boy who was eager to take part in the film.
"What he really wanted was to be in the film, not just visiting.
I said, ‘Well, we can’t really do that, and you’re already here.’ Alan [Rickman] came over and introduced himself to Jay, and Jay was so happy to meet him. He was really knowledgeable. He was about 15 at the time, and he knew a lot about Alan’s other films, and Jay mentioned to Alan that what he really wanted to do was be in the film."
Seeing the kid's genuine enthusiasm, Pesmen added that Rickman channeled his inner-Snape to usher the child into Remus Lupin’s Boggart class,
"Alan looked at me, and he kind of went into his Snape-mode in costume, and said, ‘Why isn’t this child in the film?’. Everyone had a good laugh, and Alan took him by the hand and put him into the crowd of kids as they were panning across. The back of him is actually in a shot."
Although Jay's shot didn't make it the final cut of Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Azkaban, this act of kindness on Rickman's part must have been a lasting memory in Jay's heart until his final days of fighting cancer.
His passing initiated Pesmen's There With Care foundation, which helps children and families by providing them with fundamental services during their hours of medical crisis.
Alan Rickman: A Beacon Of Kindness
Incredibly, this is just one example of the many acts of kindness performed by the acting legend. In fact, the celebrated actor tasked with bringing Severus Snape to life has always been revered as one of the most generous human beings in the business. Soon after Rickman's untimely passing, Daniel Radcliffe issued a statement elucidating his experience with the legend,
"Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I've ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I'm pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn't have to do that. I know other people who've been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say "if you call Alan, it doesn't matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he's doing, he'll get back to you within a day".
"People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass."
"As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man."
Despite having an illustrious career, Rickman was extremely humble about his art and never thought twice before emotionally supporting those around him. Matthew Lewis, who famously played Neville Longbottom, also shared his experience with Alan Rickman - proving that Rickman was also an incredible talented teacher,
“I remember he’d just come back from an award ceremony, and they had given him an iPod, and he wanted to know how to work it. I was showing him how to do that, [and] on the same token I was sneaking in the, ‘You know, in this scene I’ve got coming up here, how would you [do it]?’ He was brilliant to actually give advice for it, and I was only about a 17-year-old kid at the time, but [Alan] was very to the point with me about it, which was cool,”
Although his passing has left a significant void in the memory of Potter fans, it is heartwarming to see that the talented star meant so much to his co-stars. He will always be remembered as a wonderful talent, and it's fantastic to hear that there are still stories to be told in regards to the legendary actor's acts of kindness.
What are your best Alan Rickman moments from the Harry Potter series? Let me know in the comment section!
(Source: Huffington Post)