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'Not long after Alan Rickman started to play Severus Snape, J K Rowling told him some character secrets about Snape that would not be otherwise revealed until the release of the final book. Most significantly, Rickman was one of the very few people other than Rowling to know (year's ahead of the final books publication) that Snape had been in love with Lily Evans (later Potter) when they were students at Hogwarts, and Snape's protection of and antagonism towards Harry came from that. Rowling said she shared this information with Rickman because "He needed to understand, I think, and does completely understand and did completely understand where this bitterness towards this boy, who is living proof of [Lily's] preference of another man, came from."'

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