Alan Rickman’s diaries reveal his opinion on the Harry Potter cast

for 10 years Alan Rickman played in the Harry Potter Film franchise as Hogwarts professor Severus Snape. During this time – and for much of his life – the late actor kept journals, in which he jotted down memories of his day. Excerpts from these diaries have now been published by The guard before the book Insanely Deep: The Alan Rickman Diaries will be released on October 4th.

In the journal entries that focus on his Harry Potter Reise writes to Rickman, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2016, about his time on set, attending premieres and parties, and his desire to quit the role before the series ends. He also talks about his co-stars and the directors he worked with on the films, sharing his unfiltered opinion of them. Read on to learn the actor’s true feelings about his Harry Potter Colleagues, all from his personal writings.

READ NEXT: Hugh Grant said it’s been “tense” working with this co-star.

Julie Walters and Maggie Smith present
Warner Bros. Pictures

The first film in the series of book adaptations, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stonebegan filming on October 10, 2000. A few months into filming, Rickman wrote in a December 11 entry, “Back to Harry P. The Great Hall with Maggie Smith, Zoe Wanamaker, Ian Hart, Richard Harris—all sweet, funny souls in their own way.” These cast members played Professor McGonagall, Madame Hooch, Professor Quirrell, and Albus Dumbledore, respectively. In this entry, Rickman added as a director Chris Columbus“Luckily, Chris Columbus is also a sweet, funny soul and you kind of guess what he’s thinking, what he wants. Surely when you step outside he’s sharp. So it gets done. And everything looks fine.”

In a post years later on February 7, 2008, his words reflect how much time had passed since the cast began acting their parts, and he spoke again about Smith. “The story of this six-part epic so far is one minute, there were all these little kids…now?” said Rickmann. “Found Maggie in her trailer vulnerable and [expletive]– it – all at once.”

Robbie Coltrane, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman and Emma Watson at the premiere of
Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Rickman worked on the film series for a decade, watching the actors who played Hogwarts students grow from children to young adults. In his diaries he wrote about Daniel Radcliffewho has appeared as Harry numerous times over the years.

On May 2, 2003, while filming the third film, Rickman wrote, “Corridor with Dan Radcliffe. He’s so focused now. Serious and focused – but with a sense of fun. I still don’t think he’s really an actor, but he will undoubtedly direct/produce. And he has such quiet, dignified support from his parents. Nothing is pushed.”

Later, on April 12, 2006, he reflected on the transformation that took place when he came into his own character. “I realize that immediately [Snape’s] Ring and costume continue – something happens. It becomes strange to be talkative, smiling and open. The character constrains me, tightens me,” Rickman said. “Not good qualities on a film set. I’ve never been less communicative with a crew. Lucky Dan [Radcliffe] fills this role with ease and charm. And the youth.”

Two years later, on December 9, 2008, he made an entry about having lunch with Radcliffe, who was now an adult. “Lunch with Dan Radcliffe at Cafe Cluny,” the actor recalled. “One minute he was 12, now he’s 19. When did that happen? And he is sensitive, articulate and smart. And owns a three-bedroom apartment in New York.”

Rupert Grint and Emma Watson present "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
Warner Bros. Pictures

One of Harry Potter The distinctive feature of the series is that it brought together famous adult actors with relatively unknown child actors. Certainly these established stars have had concerns about the work of their younger colleagues, and now we have some of Rickman’s opinions in black and white. He wrote about the actor Hermione Emma Watsons Statement in an entry about the director of the third film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Alfonso Cuaron.

“He’s below the usual hp Pressure and even he starts rehearsing cameras in front of actors and these kids need directing,” Rickman wrote. “They don’t know her lines and Emma doesn’t [Watson]’s diction is sometimes this side of Albania.”

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Predrag Bjelac at the premiere of
Dave M Benett/Getty Images

In a December 13, 2004 diary entry, Rickman wrote about the collaboration Predrag Bjelacwho played Igor Karkaroff Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. “Last scene with Pedja [actor Predrag Bjelac] as who I roughly described [like] working with a sideboard on wheels,” the actor noted. “It has nothing to do with him as a (complex, delightful) person, but more to do with the way he manages to hit you at every opportunity.”

Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes at the premiere of
Dave M. Benett/Wireimage/Getty Images

Rickman remarked how much he enjoyed working with the Voldemort actor Ralph Fienneswhile also writing about his disagreements with the director David Yateswho directed the last four films in the series.

“Cold, wet, drafty but the crew seems miles away so Ralph and I can just get on with it by slowly moving towards the crime scene,” Rickman wrote on November 25, 2009. “David Y is as stubborn as ever V[oldemort] kill me with a spell (Incomprehensible, not least the resulting anger of the readers.) Nevertheless great cooperation with Ralph. Direct and truthful and inventive and free.”

Michael Gambon, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman at the premiere of
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Michael Gambon replaced Harris as Dumbledore after Harris’ death after the second film. In March 2010, Rickman wrote about working with Gambon and his health.

“To hp to rehearse with Michael Gambon. On the way back to the trailer, Michael talks about his fear of learning/forgetting his lines,” Rickman wrote on March 8. On March 10, he added, “Just me and Michael G. all day. He is vulnerable after his illness and yesterday’s primer was no joke for him. The lines are a real problem for him. Technology helps and why not? It’s never good when it’s just memory loss – no relaxation, no freedom, no contact. I would have boards and autocue everywhere. And anyway, when he unleashes a bit of splendor, it’s effortless and captivating.”

Alan Rickman in 2015
Monica Schipper/FilmMagic

Apparently if Rickman had had his way we would have had one Harry Potter Franchise in which he was replaced as Snape by another actor halfway through. On December 4, 2002, the star wrote in his diary, “In conversation with [agent] Paul Lyon Maris around hp outcome that he believes will happen. But here we are again in the project collision area. Repeat no more hp. They don’t want to hear it.” That would have been after the second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and before the third Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Rickman doesn’t explain in these excerpts why he decided to go ahead, but in a later entry, after the premiere of the third film, he happily wrote that Azkaban was “a very mature film, so full of daring it made me chuckle and chuckle.”

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Sarah Y. Kim

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