Alan Rickman was a mainstay of the Harry Potter cast as Professor Snape, and because he was introduced in the first fantasy movie, he became a source of guidance for others. Jason Isaacs, who plays Harry Potter character Lucius Malfoy, fondly remembers some sage wisdom around watching Quidditch.
Isaacs joined the Harry Potter movies for the second instalment, Chamber of Secrets, and at first he was reluctant because Rickman’s Snape was just the worst. “Trying to be sinister in the same film as him seemed pointless,” Isaacs says. “In the end, I came up with a Malfoy designed to avoid doomed comparisons with his effortlessly terrifying Snape: Malfoy had long blond hair, a pinched, high voice and as many props as I could hide behind.”
As Isaacs discovered, Rickman was far from the standoffish Snape. When they had to pretend to know the rules of Quidditch, Isaacs panicked, but Rickman had the solution. “‘I’m so sorry Alan, but what’s going on? What should I do?” Isaacs remembers saying, before Rickman responded: “No idea. Do what I do. Absolutely fucking nothing.”
Definitely fooled us! The adventure movies were all the better for Rickman’s scowling anti-villain, who gets redeemed towards the end. He was, as Isaacs puts it, just completely open.
“The man behind the most distinctive and contemptuous drawl in theatrical history was actually completely accessible, anarchically funny, utterly in the moment on and off screen,” Isaacs says of his former co-star. This is all in service of Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries, a new book coming out October 4.
For what’s currently happening in the world of Hogwarts, check out our guide to Fantastic Beasts 4.