When news of the demise of beloved British actor Alan Rickman broke, hearts of fans that span generations also broke. One fandom in particular raised their wands in tribute to the fallen actor who turned out to had been battling cancer.
Rickman is known to the younger generation for playing Professor Severus Snape, a complex character from the phenomenal Harry Potter movies, and many of his co-stars have expressed their grief over his death and their gratitude for having been blessed enough to work with him. Others have shared their memorable encounters with the actor.
Evanna Lynch, who had no professional acting experience prior to playing quirky Luna Lovegood, took to social media to pay tribute to the actor.
“I don’t have many stories to share about Alan Rickman because truthfully, I was terrified of him as Snape and throughout the course of the film I gave him a wide berth,” Lynch wrote on Facebook.
“He was probably the only cast member who met my fan girl expectations because everybody else broke character to be nice to me and make me feel welcome to the Potter family, and also to be themselves, while he remained impassively, Snape,” Lynch added, describing the similarity between the actor and the intimidating and brooding character he played on screen. “So I assumed he WAS Snape and made myself feel small whenever he went gliding past in those big, shadowy black robes.”
She went on about how Rickman spent lunches with his friends’ children on set and how she kept her distance, the Snape impression making its heavy mark on the young actress.
“For me, these glimpses of Snape chatting quite amiably to young people was the only hint that there was an Alan in there too and that he was in fact very, very nice.”
That particular positive impression became all the more true years later at a charity event where the two sat side by side, during which Evanna learned from the actor.
She talked to him about how “at the time I was stressing about the pressure I felt to already be a successful actress and that I’d run out of time to make mistakes.” Alan then told his story of also not knowing what he wanted out life as a young man out of school in his 20s and he too took a while to figure out what he wanted out of life.
“But when I told him that I was worried if I didn’t figure myself out quickly I would miss the most important opportunities and never get them back, he simply told me that I was focusing on the wrong thing. He said not to worry about getting ‘there’ and instead to focus on feeding my soul and following my heart from place to place.”
Somewhere out there are people who must know how Lynch felt at the time — unsure of themselves and feeling inadequate. But Rickman’s words ring true about following the heart from place to place, wherever that may be.