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Old 11-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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Post Video: Alan Rickman finally talks about portraying Severus Snape

Leading up to the DVD release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Warner Bros France released a rare interview with Alan Rickman in which the actor delves into his portrayal of Severus Snape throughout the Harry Potter film series, speaking about his reluctance to do interviews about his character in the past, the brilliance of set designer Stuart Craig, why the younger actors feared him on the set of the first film, and why it is that Snape doesnít yell.


Harry Potter : Interview d'Alan Rickman by WarnerBrosPicturesFrance

Letís start by talking about the final chapter of the story. What, for you, are the central themes of the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which as we know finally gets resolution at its termination of the Harry Potter saga?
Alan Rickman:
Well, the end of any great story, I suppose, itís got to move toward a happy ending. In one sense, growing up with Harry Potter you go from 12 years old to a whole school career. I remember that. What it was like going to school at 11 and leaving at 18. I suppose you get some hindsight.

And courage, perhaps? Has courage came to this final part?
Rickman:
Sure. For everybody, yes Ö and moral values, and choices, and right and wrong.

How does the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 feel in comparison to the rest of the series? In what ways have the dangers and darkness perhaps increased?
Rickman:
Itís a very gradual thing with the books and the stories. Thereís no other way of putting it. If you go to the center of the story with those three kids, youíre watching them become young adults, and so everything changes. Theyíre three little innocent faces, only three-foot off the ground at the beginning, and then by the end theyíre meeting the adults more or less at eye level. Romance has entered their lives and, as I said, choosing big choices in life. Theyíre becoming adults, so itís incremental. Itís not as if you can jump from the film at the beginning to the one at the end and say, ďWell this is different from that in these ways.Ē Itís very much an incremental piece of masterful storytelling.

I know we donít want to give away too much about Snape, but I find a rather interesting line, which is ďto burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can inflict on ourselves.Ē Thatís a line that might be familiar to you. Itís from Blood Wedding. Itís not actually from Harry Potter. Without giving away too much, how much light does that shine on Severus Snape?
Rickman:
Well, heís very focused. He lives within very tight confines Ė emotionally, physically. When we finally got to play a scene in what appeared to be his house, you know I often wondered what that would look like, I remember walking onto the set and saying to (designer) Stuart Craig, ďI donít know whether heíd have all these pictures on the walls.Ē The books, I could understand. But in a sense, Stuart was absolutely right. This was the house that his parents built. In a way, all he does is go there and you canít believe that he would go into that kitchen and cook any food. You wonder what he eats. Is there a takeaway somewhere at Hogwarts he occasionally orders in from? Because you canít imagine that there is any other agenda in his life than the one heís set himself.

You havenít spoken much about his character over the years. How important was it to you to maintain an integrity about that?
Rickman:
Very important. The world we live in now is one where we leap frog ourselves all the time, and we have to give interviews about things before people have seen them so a lot of innocence is taken away from not just children Ė because of course grown-ups have been enjoying this series of books Ė but of course I come into contact with a lot of hopeful little faces clutching whatever is their latest copy of the book. And weíve all had this experience of being pointed out to children in the street or on a red carpet somewhere. And once they get over their confusion that I donít have a load of black hair then you can see a huge conversation going on with themselves Ė with this book that has opened up their imaginations Ė and Iíve just never wanted to get in the way of that because itís precious and, as I say, a kind of innocence that you canít rip away from people.



Snape and Dumbledore share some intense scenes. Where do they rank among your favorite onscreen moments in the series?
Rickman:
When I walked onto the set to work with Richard Harris Ė thatís iconic. You think, ďIím actually sitting in a make-up chair next to this guy, and Iíve grown up watching him.Ē Moving on to Michael, similarly, when I was at drama school [he was] an iconic figure to young actors. So thereís that level to it, which is just that youíre working with these people, and then thereís a human level too, which is you get to know them. Michael I knew before, anyway, but sitting in a make-up chair with Richard Harris and heís talking about Beckett and Shakespeare and Pirandello. Then you go onto the set, Michael Gambon, youíre in awe and only this far away from him making you laugh. So youíre proud if youíve got a take where he hasnít cracked you up.

Well, Snape has only to say, ďTurn to page 394Ē to have me quaking in my boots, never mind the children of Hogwarts. To what degree is the voice key to this forbidding character?
Rickman:
Well if youíre playing somebody you donít judge them, so I donít know about things like forbidding or scary or mysterious, or anything like that. You take the information youíve got in the writing. Jo Rowlingís quite clear. She said he never raises his voice. ďWell, thatís helpful. Okay. Iíll do that then.Ē

Dan, Emma and Rupert did admit awhile back to being a little bit scared of you in real life, and yet anything Iíve seen from the film Ė from the eye ticks to your laughing - are in very good form. But did you keep a stern continence to them for the sake of their dramatic art?
Rickman:
There was nothing ever deliberate, but the nature of filming is that thereís little or no rehearsal. You go straight into it. And youíre starting with three 12-year-olds. And I walk onto the set with black lenses in my eyes, an all black outfit and a black wig. One thing I can say for sure is that as soon as I put that costume on, something happens. You canít be someone else inside that outline. It has an effect on me. I would also say you donít have time because youíre looking for real concentration, and youíre trying to be as helpful to these three young people as possible. So itís better that Iím focused and not mucking about. So Iím not surprised if they got a bit alarmed, but it was just the nature of the beast.

How important are the aesthetics of a project like Harry Potter to you? The look, the design, the feel of it Ė does that hugely support the character and the work that you do?
Rickman:
Absolutely crucial. I suppose, in a way, the one shame of the advance of CGI is that we started this whole thing going off to locations Ė Oxford and Gloucester, various gothic corridors Ė and 10 years later the technique is so sophisticated that you end the film on a pile of old grass with this football stadium of lights around, knowing that theyíre going to fill in the background. So youíre imagination really has to work hard by the end of it. But the interiors weíre completely blessed by having absolute genius in Stuart Craig. And thereís still a child in me that goes up to a pillar and Iím this far away from it and I know itís make of polystyrene, but I have to tap it because itís so real. Oh no, itís crucial because your imagination is fed.
Pre-order the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 DVD and Blu-ray sets, out November 11 in the U.S. and December 2 in the UK, at the Amazon links below, or through the official Warner Bros Shop.

Amazon.com (US) - Deathly Hallows 1-disc DVD | Deathly Hallows 1-disc Blu-ray | Deathly Hallows 3-disc Blu-ray triple play | The Complete 8-Film Collection DVD | The Complete 8-Film Collection Blu-ray

Amazon.co.uk (UK) - Deathly Hallows 1-disc DVD | Deathly Hallows 3-disc 3D Blu-ray | Deathly Hallows 3-disc Blu-ray triple play | Deathly Hallows 2-disc DVD | The Complete 8-Film Collection DVD | The Complete 8-Film Collection Blu-ray | The Complete 8-Film Collection BD limited edition


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Old 11-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I love Alan! He was amazing in Part 2!
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I love the interview! But it's interesting that he said Jo's clear on Snape never raising his voice. I've always found Rickman's portrayal of Snape to be different from the book character in this respect. Book Snape loses control and starts yelling on more than one occasion. Not that I care that movie Snape is different. Alan's perfect!
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One of the best performaces of Prt2 loved in the interview when all you heard was some guy whispering x
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)


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I was engrossed from the word go. Is it just me, or does Alan Rickman's voice just... hypnotize you?

Something about the way he speaks just draws me in and MAKES me listen.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Alan Rickman doesn't need an Oscar.. An Oscar needs Alan Rickman
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Turn to page 394 , he is amazing
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Pssh! His voice never failed to awe me.

He was at his best of Potter in part 2.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow WB france. An advertisement in the middle of the interview? Really?
Wow.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindofabigdeel View Post
Alan Rickman doesn't need an Oscar.. An Oscar needs Alan Rickman
LOL, so true! Rickman played Snape with such intensity, as I imagined Snape to be, that he captivated the audience with each purposefully uttered word.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice interview..
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Such an interesting character, Mr Rickman.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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He's perfect!
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Alan is just so amazing and he was a brilliant Snape. i can imagine anyone else as the wonderful Snape
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i love alan rickman in chapter 1 to 7 because i like bad guys.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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This is kinda like the first time I heard him say something out of the films so I was like, whoa, it's the same voice he uses for Snape! It's kinda creepy, because Snape is all stern and strict and all that but he's just relaxing...and yet the voice is the same.

o.O
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks! it is always a pleasure hearing about how the actor sees the character and Rickman has been so quiet about Snape so this is a treat
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:41 PM   #18 (permalink)


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Nerve-wrackingly splendid!
Oh, Rickman you are the best Snape we ever had.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Absolutely love him!!! He seriously made the last movie for me...well they all did, but wow! I was seriously blown away with him and not to mention I cried like a baby through the whole movie!
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Snape. You are the perfect Snape. You seem to age lot without Snape's potions huh?
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Amazing interview
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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No one does it like Alan Rickman. Lovely interview!
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I still want to thank Tim Roth for dropping out of contention for the role of Snape, because as Carly Simon says, "Nobody Does It Better"....than Alan!
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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i love him his voice is intoxicating:snape2 i love him he played snape so well
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #25 (permalink)

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Im probably the only non-slytherin who thinks sev is pretty awesome, but he is!
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