For over a decade, Alan Rickman played the Harry Potter character Professor Severus Snape in the beloved magical franchise about the famous boy wizard. However, despite being a recurring Hogwarts teacher in all the main fantasy movies, that doesn’t mean he was a fan of every decision made in the Harry Potter movies.
In a collection of his diary entries, published by The Guardian, it was revealed that Rickman may not have been keen on John Williams’ iconic score for the flicks. According to the publication, on November 4, 2001 – the night of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone premiere (the first adventure movie in the franchise), Rickman recorded his initial reaction to the film. And in said reaction, the acclaimed actor briefly shared how he truly felt about the famous Harry Potter theme with one word: “hideous”.
“The film should only be seen on a big screen; It acquires a scale and depth that matches the hideous score by John Williams.” Rickman wrote before adding that the “party afterwards at the Savoy” was “much more fun.”
While hideous is a strong word, it is important to remember that the tone of the diary entry isn’t exactly clear. Although it could be read as an insult, Rickman did stick with the franchise right until the end. So he couldn’t have actually hated the theme tune that much, could he?
According to the Philosopher’s Stone’s director Chris Columbus (via AV Club), the star was also initially hesitant to play Snape for fear of being typecast. Ultimately Rickman agreed to join the production after learning more about the character’s future from Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
Still, with his initial scepticism in mind, it makes sense why he would be extra critical of Harry Potter at the beginning of his time with the franchise. Either way, whether he loved Williams’ score or not, we are happy that Rickman stuck with the character of Snape. He has gone down in history as irreplaceable, and as one of the best Harry Potter ‘villains’ to hit the big screen.
Alan Rickman passed away at the age of 69 in January 2016 in London after battling prostate cancer – first diagnosed in 2005. His talent lives on in the impressive titles credited to his filmography.