On the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series’ debut, many remembered the incredible, ‘Severus Snape’ actor Alan Rickman and his kind hearted nature. Rickman died in January 2016 at the age of 69 after a tough battle with cancer and his crew and cast members said they will always see him for the remarkable man he is. This was manifested when a terminally sick children would have their wishes come true to visit the Harry Potter set.
One of the producers organized the visits for the terminally sick children, recalling how the entire cast were “so gracious” during these times, however, the one to stand out was Alan Rickman. The producer explained that one of the children who visited was named Jay, a 15-year-old boy diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma who had dreams to be in the film, not just to see the sets. When the producer had to break the news to the teenager that that would not be possible, Alan Rickman stepped in an introduced himself to Jay.
Alan and Jay seemed to connect immediately with Jay showing off his movie knowledge, specifically citing Alan’s films, past and present. When Jay slipped into the conversation that he wanted a part in Harry Potter, Alan turned to the producer and asked “Why isn’t this child in the film?” The actor then took Jay by the hand and placed him in the crowd of kids that were to play extras in the scene of Remus Lupin’s Boggart class in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When the camera panned over the class of children, Jay was right in the middle enjoying every second.
Unfortunately, the shot Jay was in did not make the final cut of the film, but the memories and experience would stay with him forever. The fact that Alan took it upon himself to make a sick child’s dreams come true with the smallest of gestures was a testament to his character.