In a 2011 interview with RTÉ, Alan Rickman revealed that J.K. Rowling had given him a bit of advice on how he should play Professor Snape in the movies. He said, "She gave me one little piece of information, which I always said I would never share with anybody and never have, and never will. It wasn't a plot point, or crucial in any tangible way, but it was crucial to me as a piece of information that made me travel down that road rather than that one or that one or that one."
Sadly Rickman died in January 2016, and fans were dying to know what that piece of information was that Rickman took to his grave. Not long after, Rowling tweeted the answer. "I told Alan what lies behind the word always," Rowling responded to a fan.
For those who aren't familiar with what the word "always" symbolizes in Harry Potter, it's a quote from Professor Snape's character that really shows his true colors. In the books, Snape, who was childhood friends with Harry's mom, Lily Potter, fell in love with her at a young age. When Dumbledore finds out that Snape is still in love with Lily Potter (even after her death at the hands of Lord Voldemort) he asks him, "Really Severus? After all this time?" and Snape replies, "Always."
Rowling wanted Rickman to know what drove his character early on, so that he would never be misguided in his performance onscreen. And as for the rest of the cast---they had to wait and find out just how much of a softie Snape was the same as us when the last book came out.
RIP Alan Rickman and the grumpy, loving wizard he played, Severus Snape.
Although inspired by zombies, Rowling had a very unique reason for not using the "Z" word. "I'm part of the 'Thriller' generation," she wrote. "To me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket." Yea, that wouldn't exactly have the same terrifying effect if Dumbledore and Harry were fighting off a bunch of "Triller" zombies.
One of the final things Harry says in the last book is: "Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew." But that's not all Harry did to honor Snape.
Rowling revealed Harry made sure that a portrait of the misunderstood professor was placed in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts. She explained in a webchat, "I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape's portrait would appear there in due course." Harry + Snape 4eva.
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