French Magazine:  Total Stars

Issue: No. 6, Summer 2004

Interview:  Alan Rickman


Alan Rickman seems tied to the roles of villains and/or shadowy characters…which suits him perfectly, since he portrays them with enormous talent.  In the Harry Potter movies, Alan lends his talents to the mysterious Severus Snape.  But in reality, he is much more smiling than his character!


Has your career changed since your role as Severus Snape?


Honestly, I don't think so.  I was already being offered a lot of interesting parts before I ever became acquainted with Harry and Snape.  Of course the Harry Potter films are a part of my life, but they haven't modified it in any major way.  At least, I don't think so. (smiles)


Snape hides many secrets, can you reveal a few to us?


If I did that, I believe that JK Rowling would make me pay dearly (laughs). 

In fact, I don't know everything, either, of Snape's past or his motivations.  JK Rowling hasn't revealed all of his secrets yet.  She alone truly knows Snape and what he could be hiding.  A bit more of the character is revealed in the course of the novels, so one just has to be patient and see what unfolds (smiles).  I can simply say that Snape is very rigid and full of himself.  As for what I know about him because JK Rowling agreed to discuss him with me, that must remain secret for the moment.


Did Snape appreciate seeing himself dressed as a woman in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?


(laughs)  I would say he must have been truly vexed and unhappy!  Snape isn't one who enjoys jokes and I strongly fear that his sense of humor is extremely limited.  You could say that he deserves his name!  But in his defense, I will add that he didn't have an easy adolescence, particularly during his studies at Hogwarts.  His interactions with Professor Lupin aren't made any easier since they knew each other at that time.  But oops, I won't say more!


What do you think of your young colleagues in the Harry Potter movies?


They are all fantastic.  True professionals.  I can attest to the degree to which they take their work seriously, all the while remaining children.  Their performances have equally progressed enormously in the course of the films.  It's a true joy to perform with these actors who believe so much in what they're doing.  They've all grown up so much since the first Harry Potter, just like their characters.  I think it's great that they can all develop together.


Will you take part in the future Harry Potter films?


If all goes well, it would be with pleasure.  I like very much the way in which the story is evolving.  It's more and more dark and more and more interesting.


Do you prefer to act in the theater or in films?


They're very different…Performing an entire year in the same play is quite sufficient for me.  It doesn't make me want to jump into another right away.  The theater is something very unique.  It gives a lot, but takes a lot in return.  You don't have the right to make a mistake, and you have to give all of your energy for two hours on end.  When you do a film, the pressure is not the same.  You can redo a scene several times and rest between takes.  It's very different but the two genres are interesting experiences.