More than four years ago, the world lost beloved actor Alan Rickman following a battle with pancreatic cancer. His career spanned decades and included iconic roles like Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. However, Rickman became best known for bringing to life the complicated potions professor from the world of Harry Potter, Severus Snape, a role he played in all eight Harry Potter films. Rickman's turn as Snape was often praised as one of the best performances in the entire franchise, a notion shared by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.
While interacting with fans on Twitter, Rowling responded to someone thanking her for the creation of Snape, and for convincing Rickman to take on the role. Rather than saying "You're welcome" to the fan, Rowling told a heartbreaking story about how much she has missed Rickman since his passing.
"In Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, Snape makes his first appearance with his back to the audience," Rowling wrote. "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 around, I'd see Alan."
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. https://t.co/qC3xxmwz3d— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 7, 2020
Harry Potter & the Cursed Child is set after the events of the main Harry Potter books, and was first conceived as a live stage play. It was during one of those first run dress rehearsals that Rowling hoped she'd seen Rickman. Sadly, Cursed Child premiered in the summer of 2016, just a few months after Rickman died.
No matter what happens with the Harry Potter franchise moving forward, the role of Snape will forever be seen as one that could only be played by Alan Rickman. He and Snape have become one in the eyes of fans around the world.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.