Tim Roth explains why he turned down the role of Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies

When it comes to major franchises like Star Wars or Harry Potter, there are certain characters you just can’t picture being played by another actor. Harry Potter‘s Professor Snape is one of those characters, and a lot of that has to do with how much personality the late Alan Rickman brought to the role.

But of course, plenty of people audition for parts like these, and as it turns out, we could have seen another familiar face bring Snape to the big screen: Tim Roth of The Resevoir Dogs and Planet of the Apes fame. Ultimately, the actor turned down the role because he knew that it would be a long-term commitment, one he felt he couldn’t agree to at the time. He explained himself on the television show There’s Something About Movies:

I was like ‘OK, OK, that’s interesting,’ and then I just thought, ‘I’ll be on every lunchbox or whatever it is. I’ll be known for that role.’

And he was certainly right about that — most of the actors who appeared in the series have been associated with their characters ever since.

According to Roth,  his kids still bring up the fact that he turned down the part. “They were all right about it (at the time), but they do bring it up,” he said. “They still do.” To be fair, who wouldn’t want to brag about their father being in Harry Potter?

Thankfully, even with his kids still talking about it, Roth doesn’t regret passing on the role. During a Reddit AMA, the actor made it clear that he’s a fan of what Rickman did with it. “Alan took it and ran with it and that was that,” Roth wrote. “It was very different from what I was planning to do with the character, and that’s OK.”

Do I regret it? I don’t know if I ever think about things that way. If I had done it, everything would have changed. That’s the nature of the randomness of life. It would have been nice to have a 7 year gig, that’s a nice and comforting space to be in. But no, I think the better man for the job did the job.

It’s hard to argue with Roth there, especially after seeing Rickman’s work on the eight-film series. It is interesting, however, to know that Roth could have taken up the mantle instead. We’ll never know how his Snape would have differed from the one we know and love (or love to hate?), but it’s fun to think about how the movies might have been different.

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h/t Canoe.com