Kate Winslet Remembers Alan Rickman Using His Harry Potter Fortune for Good
Alan Rickman died on January 14, 2016, at the age of 69. As the first anniversary of his death approaches, Kate Winslet shared a touching tale of Rickman’s generosity with Entertainment Weekly. The two co-starred with one another in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility and 2014’s A Little Chaos.
“He was always a great big softy. If there was one word I could use to really describe Al, it would be kind. He was so kind,” Winslet recalled. “At Al’s memorial, Juliet Stevenson told the story of how whenever Al would go out to supper and anyone else would try and pay, he would somehow have phoned ahead or slipped his credit card ahead of the meal so no one even got a look at the check,” she added. “He’d just say, ‘I’ve got two words for you: Harry Potter.’ And he became known for doing that.”
Rickman played Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, and in addition to frequently picking up the check for others—thanks to the reported almost $5 million estate he left (in part thanks to his role in the franchise)—he remained a steadfast supporter of his castmates even after the series ended. After he died, Daniel Radcliffe posted a moving tribute about the actor on Facebook.
“[Alan Rickman] is . . . one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say ‘if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day’ . . . As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child.”
Radcliffe was just one of many members of the Harry Potter community to share memories of the star. Rickman’s frequent co-star Emma Thompson also shared a statement on the occasion of his death. “What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view,” she said.