Say it ain’t so, Snape.
According to The Independent, unearthed personal letters from the late Alan Rickman reveal that the actor was often frustrated with his role as Severus Snape in Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter franchise. This would seemingly match the professor’s perpetually frustrated nature, but it still comes as a crushing blow to Harry Potheads.
In a letter from producer David Heyman to Rickman, who passed away in 2016, the former wrote of The Chamber of Secrets:
“Thank you for making ‘HP2’ a success. I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant.”
Indeed, Rickman’s performances were always highlights of the eight-film series, and his character was a fan-favorite in both the books and movies. But during production on 2009’s The Half-Blood Prince, Rickman wrote a letter titled “Inside Snape’s Head” that seemed to criticize director David Yates, according to the outlet.
“It’s as if David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal,” the actor wrote.
Per The Independent, the letters will be available for auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London. The letters have been valued at a shocking $1.26 billion. According to People, the prize includes 38 boxes filled with letters, scripts, pictures, fan mail, personal diary entries and a letter from J.K. Rowling.
“Just back from weeks away and had to send a line about what you wrote in the souvenir programme for ‘Hallows II.’ Made me very tearful,” she wrote. “Thank *you* for doing justice to my most complex character.”
Though the Harry Potter franchise was initially aimed at young moviegoers, Snape’s character was always a darker element, and his importance grew as the narrative (and the actors) matured. It can’t be easy to stay in any role for a decade, as Rickman did, but hopefully he had some positive feelings regarding the material as its millions of fans did.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second entry in the Harry Potter prequel franchise that takes place in the 1920s, is set to hit theaters on November 16.