The legion of Harry Potter fans across the world (myself included) were in mourning Thursday over the loss of actor Alan Rickman, who played the sometimes-villainous, sometimes-humorous, always-lovable Professor Severus Snape. Harry Potter himself, played by Daniel Radcliffe, responded to Alan Rickman's death this morning with a heartfelt, heartbreaking tribute.
Following J.K. Rowling's own eloquent goodbye, Radcliffe took some time to reflect on Alan Rickman, the man he played opposite in all eight of the Harry Potter films, spanning 10 years of their lives. "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," Radcliffe wrote on Thursday:
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.'
Radcliffe went on to dispel the myth that Rickman was scary, stern, or intimidating (like Snape is). He wrote, "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."
When Radcliffe and Rickman first met, Radcliffe was only a child, but regardless, Rickman recognized his talent and respected his hard work. Radcliffe wrote, "he was one of the first 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.
Aside from the momentous effect he had on the (wizarding and muggle) world, he undoubtedly effected the course of Radcliffe's life and career with his kindness. Even offscreen, it's not a stretch to say there was quite a bit of Snape's protective devotion in Rickman.
Rickman's family and the Harry Potter cast will undoubtedly struggle to cope, but, right alongside them, fans will be doing the same. Rickman's impact on the arts won't be forgotten, and Radcliffe's tribute made that clear.
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