Okay. So some of you Popwatchers out there were — eh-hem — disappointed that I did not provide more details about the Sundance dinner with Alan Rickman. Shall I explain? For one thing, I was leaving that detail duty to Rickman’s No. 1 Most Awesomest Fan, Whitney Pastorek. For another, I was waiting until I interviewed the guy because I wanted to find out if he was going to use the Las Vegas hotel voucher he won at said dinner. Also, though I knew he’d never comment on it, I shamelessly had to tell him that his portrayal of Snape made me love the grumpy ole prof well before the last book revealed his heartbreaking secret. (El Jefe Pastorek and I share this sentiment.) So here you have it, Rickman lovers: After the jump, a peek at my chat with him from the day after his film, Bottle Shock (pictured), premiered.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you having a good time here?
Alan Rickman:Yeah, it’s like 1995, maybe, or ’94, that I was here before. It seemslike it’s still a small town, but something else is going on.
Something else, like swag?
Well you get taken around places, and then it’s, I dunno, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or something. [Laughs]
Bottle Shock is the second film you’ve made with director Randy Miller [after 2007’s Nobel Son]. I’m guessing you get along.
Ilove working with Randy and Jody [Savin, the cowriter]. God knows it’shappened before that directors and writers build up a repertory ofactors. I think it’s sort of sound economics on some level. You canstep straight into work because you understand the language.
You play a connoisseur of wine in this movie. How about in real life?
Ilove wine. I think it’s kind of a miracle, the way it grows, the factthat the vines will play along with somebody that bothers to understandthem. I spend quite a bit of time in Italy. A friend of mine has avineyard there. Good wine, good food, people talking in a beautifulsurrounding — you don’t really need much else.
Are you going to use your Vegas hotel room voucher?
That was funny, that you, and you alone, won one.
It was abit funny. But strangely enough, a friend of mine and his wife live inVegas. And because I’m not likely to be there in the next year, I’vegiven it to them because they really need a break. I’m gonna give themthree days in a hotel, just up the road from their house. They can takea fake vacation and maybe take their daughter and let her play in thepool and all of that.
Okay, I think your wranglers are giving me the signal, but I haveto say, even before I got to the end of the Harry Potter books —
Beforeyou go any further, I never, ever talk about that character. Numberone, because it’s not fair on kids who haven’t read to the end. And forme to say anything — there’s a bit of it that just should be leftinnocent. It’s real storytelling, what she’s done, and I’m part ofthat. So I just never talk about it.
When do you go back to shoot Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
They’re shooting six [now], and I start shooting my part of it beginning of February.
It’s a bigger part for you this time.
Ahh…. There’s important stuff. [Smiles]