New Alan Rickman diary entries reveal famed actor tried to exit Harry Potter series

Eleni Thomas
Alan Rickman Harry Potter header

A new book including the diary entries of the late Alan Rickman has revealed the actor’s thoughts on the Harry Potter series, detailing his desire to depart the franchise early on.

Actor Alan Rickman – who most may know for his work as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter franchise – sadly passed away in 2016 from pancreatic cancer. Now six years later, a brand new book, entitled Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, will include the inner thoughts and words of the late great actor.

The book, which is set to release next month, will include diary entries of Rickman that spanned 25 years of the actor’s life. Based on the excerpts that have already been revealed in the entries, Rickman’s time working on the Harry Potter films is discussed at large.

An article published by the Guardian includes an extensive list of some of the diary entries that will feature in the novel. And while Rickman’s performance as Snape is widely recognized as one of the best in the whole series, these new diary entries reveal that the actor wanted to step away from the franchise very early on.

In a diary entry dated December 4, 2002, Rickman wrote about his desire to depart from the Harry Potter films ahead of shooting the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

“Talking to [agent] Paul Lyon-Maris about HP exit, which he thinks will happen. But here we are in the project-collision area again. Reiterating no more HP. They don’t want to hear it.”

Before this entry, Rickman’s chronicles of the first two projects reinforced his complicated relationship with the job. While he writes about his fellow adult co-stars Maggie Smith, Miriam Margolyes, and others in a positive light, his comments on the films themselves are much more damning.

Alan Rickman Harry Potter. body image
Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Severus Snape won over the hearts of the Harry Potter community.

After attending the premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Rickman described John Williams’ score for the film as “hideous.” Despite his wishes to leave after the second film, director Alfonso Cuarón Orozco’s work on The Prisoner of Azkaban seemingly restored Rickman’s faith in the series.

In the diary entry written immediately after the film’s premiere, Rickman praised Orozco for the “extraordinary job” he did on the movie.

“It is a very grown-up movie, so full of daring that it made me smile and smile. Every frame of it is the work of an artist and storyteller. Stunning effects that are somehow part of the life of the film, not show-off stunts.”

The diary entries also include Rickman’s early impressions of Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and their portrayals of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. 

The news that the actor almost walked away from the role so early on may come as a surprise to the Harry Potter community. Rickman’s performance as Snape is beloved by fans and part of the reason why Snape was voted as the best Harry Potter character in a poll back in 2011.

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman is set to release on October 18, 2022.

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About The Author

Eleni is a Melbourne-based journalist. Having completed her Bachelor's in communication (Journalism) at RMIT University, Eleni is now a Senior Writer for the Dexerto Australia team. A big Nintendo fan (with a Triforce tattoo to prove it) and a lover of the zombie genre, Eleni covers gaming, entertainment as well as TV and movies for the site. She is also passionate about covering Queer and female representation. Contact Eleni at