I have never been less communicative with a crew

Alan Rickman in 2015
Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images

It was in 1992, four years after his iconic movie debut as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, that Alan Rickman began to keep a daily diary—the first of 26 volumes he would go on to fill during a glittering decades-long career on stage and screen, right up until his death at the beginning of 2016. The roles he played were numerous and diverse, but it was his unforgettable portrayal of the enigmatic Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series that brought him to the masses; it was while filming the much-anticipated fifth instalment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that he wrote this entry.

The Diary Entry

12 April

6.45am pick-up HP.

I realise as soon as that [Snape’s] ring and costume go on – something happens. It becomes alien to be chatty, smiley, open. The character narrows me down, tightens me up. Not good qualities on a film set. I have never been less communicative with a crew. Fortunately, Dan [Radcliffe] fills that role with ease and charm. And youth.

Home moments, it seems, before it’s time to get up again.

Further Reading

Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries was published in 2022 by Canongate Books, edited by Alan Taylor and with a foreword by Emma Thompson. Unguarded, amusing, gossip-filled and candid, exactly as you’d hope. Diary entry reprinted here with permission.

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