Harry Potter sequel The Cursed Child hit the stage back in 2016 to much fanfare, but it was also a difficult time for fans of the series as Severus Snape actor, and beloved Hollywood icon, Alan Rickman had died earlier that same year at the age of 69. Author J.K. Rowling was obviously greatly affected by the star's death and has been opening up about how rehearsals for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play proved to be a very emotional time for her.
"In Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, Snape makes his first appearance with his back to the audience. At the dress rehearsal I saw him in his long black wig & my eyes filled with tears because, for a split second, my irrational heart believed when Snape turned round, I'd see Alan."
As you can imagine, the loss of Alan Rickman was still fresh for the famed Harry Potter author, and it must have been a very emotionally surreal experience to see someone else dressed as the character that he embodied so well. This sad, yet very sweet anecdote was shared by J.K. Rowling on social media after an Italian Harry Potter fan took the time time to thank the author for the character of Severus Snape and convincing the late Alan Rickman to play him while she was watching a rerun of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on television during self-isolation.
Alan Rickman was one of the few actors that J.K. Rowling actually disclosed secret information in order to assist him with his portrayal. In fact, Rickman was given clues about Snape's journey and allegiances long before she had written them down. The actor felt that he had become typecast as the villain and grown tired of it, and so, in an effort to persuade him to take the part, Rowling disclosed vaguely what she had in mind for Snape. Though she did not tell him everything, it was just enough to let him know that things were not exactly what they seemed.
Despite being somewhat older than how Snape is portrayed in the source material, Rickman was perfectly cast as the complex, strict Hogwarts teacher, able to leap from enemy to protector in the blink of an eye. Along with the role of Hans Gruber in the action movie Die Hard, Rickman will always be remembered for playing the Hogwarts professor, with Harry Potter, who spent most of the series at odds with Snape, eventually realizing that he was "the bravest man he ever knew."
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up nineteen years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, and follows Harry Potter's son and his experience with Hogwarts. Befriending Draco Malfoy's son, the two other them get into all sorts of magical trouble thanks to the use of a time turner. The time turner allows the story to explore alternate scenarios within the events of the seven-book series. During the runtime of The Cursed Child, Severus Snape makes an appearance in a timeline where he survives the Battle of Hogwarts instead of Harry Potter. This comes to us from J.K. Rowling's official Twitter account.