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Alan Rickman Struggled to Finish Harry Potter While Battling Cancer: “See It Through. It’s Your Story”

"Finally, yes to HP 5. The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says: 'See it through. It's your story'"

alan rickman diaries cancer harry potter see it through it's your story
Warner Bros. Pictures

    Alan Rickman’s posthumous diaries will be published next month, and the collected writings unveil the iconic actor’s views on politics, his favorite Hollywood gossip, and then, his struggle to finish the Harry Potter franchise before cancer made it impossible.

    Rickman died in 2016 at the age of 69, five years after the final Harry Potter film bowed in theaters. Now, The Guardian has shared excerpts from Madly Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickmanwhich is set to be released on October 18th.

    He was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and doctors removed his prostate in January of 2006. On the 5th of that month, he wrote, “Pre-op. This is like a film set. Nothing seems real. Remembering nothing but with that painkiller high in the recovery room. Attentive, caring people.”

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    Three days later, he wrote about an amusing interaction with his doctors, whose nervousness he initially misinterpreted. “The doctors come round and after dealing with catheters and drainage, finally, nervously get to the point – ‘How did you do the fall at the end of Die Hard?'”

    Then, on January 30th, he made the decision to continue with the role of Severus Snape. “Finally, yes to HP 5,” he wrote. “The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says: ‘See it through. It’s your story.’”

    A few months later he was back on set, and he noted the change that went over him as he got into character. “I realise as soon as that [Snape’s] ring and costume go on – something happens. It becomes alien to be chatty, smiley, open. The character narrows me down, tightens me up. Not good qualities on a film set. I have never been less communicative with a crew. Fortunately, Dan [Radcliffe] fills that role with ease and charm. And youth.”

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