After all this time... Alan Rickman knew something vital about Snape, and J.K. Rowling just told us what that was. The great actor, who passed away recently at the age of 69, was given a secret piece of info by J.K. Rowling during the filming of the first Harry Potter movie to lend depth to his performance as Snape.
Rickman told Hitfix:
"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 it 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."
Here's what J.K. Rowling revealed to Alan Rickman... is your body ready?
J.K. Rowling told us via Tweet:
Skip to 3.29 for the vital moment, the one word that can still bring a tear any Potter fan's eye... after all this time.
The fact that J.K. Rowling bared Snape's soul to Alan Rickman shows how much she trusted him with her character and clearly contributed to the complex, nuanced performance that only a consummate professional like Rickman could pull off. Rickman himself explained the effect knowing about Snape's love for Lily had on his interpretation of the role:
"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."
Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for sharing this lovely part of your friendship with Alan Rickman, the best possible Snape. Always.