Alan Rickman almost turned down one of his most iconic movie roles
Alan Rickman was one of the greats; there's no doubt about that. From his coldly sarcastic (but deeply emotional) performance as Professor Snape, to his role as a cheating husband in Love Actually, not a bad word could be said about his acting prowess.
However, an old interview with the Harry Potter star has revealed that audiences almost never got the chance to know the now-legendary actor. Shockingly, Alan - who passed away in 2016 - almost turned down the career-defining role that that kick-started his assent to stardom.
Speaking at a BAFTA celebration of his work in April 2015, shortly before his death, Alan revealed his initial disdain when he was offered his first film role in Die Hard. Stating that he originally wanted to turn down the part, which he was offered only two days after arriving in Los Angeles, he said: "I didn’t know anything about LA. I didn’t know anything about the film business … I’d never made a film before, but I was extremely cheap."
After reading the script, Alan - who was 41-year-old at the time - claimed that he had thought: "What the hell is this? I’m not doing an action movie. Agents and people said: 'Alan, you don't understand, this doesn't happen. You've only been in L.A. two days, and you've been asked to do this film.'"
Luckily for all of us, the star - who started his career on the stage as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company - eventually accepted the role, and we all got to enjoy watching him onscreen as German terrorist leader and mastermind, Hans Gruber.
So, what made him change his mind? Apparently, he was won over by the witty script and progressive casting and storyline, which still now stands out from many other action movies. "Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent," he said in 2015. "So, 28 years ago, that's quite revolutionary, and quietly so."
Nonetheless, reports tells us that his role in Die Hard wasn't the only job Alan was initially doubtful about. In news that is likely to shock Potterheads out there, apparently, the English actor wasn't too sure about playing Snape either at one point.
A collection of letters and notes written to and by the late thespian revealed that Alan had "frustrations" about the Hogwarts Potions Master. In one letter, Harry Potter producer David Heyman sends a personal message of thanks for his involvement in the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and manages to shed light on the actor's mindset about the iconic role.
The highly-complimentary letter reads: "Thank you for making HP2 a success. I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant."
Can you imagine anyone else playing Snape? Or Hans Gruber, for that matter? Me neither. Thank god he came to his senses and gave us those performances that we'll never forget. If there's a heaven, Alan Rickman is most definitely there, thrilling everyone with his insane talent still.