Alan Rickman's Personal Letters Reveal He Was Frustrated Playing Harry Potter's Snape

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A collection of personal letters belonging to the late Alan Rickman shows that playing one of the main roles in an iconic franchise like Harry Potter isn’t always easy. The letters, which are part of an auction at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London, shed light on Rickman's mindset when playing Severus Snape over the course of eight movies, and it's clear there was some difficulty along the way.

“Thank you for making HP2 a success,” Potter producer David Heyman wrote to Rickman in one letter. “I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant.”

And in another note, which Rickman titled Inside Snape’s Head, the actor bemoaned the way in which Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince director David Yates handled a specific part of Snape’s characterization. Details about what, exactly, Rickman didn’t like aren’t made public, but the actor wrote, “It’s as if David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal,” when questioning the director's choices. Half-Blood Prince is the sixth film in the franchise, and the letters point towards frustrations starting as early as the second installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which was directed by Chris Columbus, who also helmed the first movie. 

There are happier notes in the collection, though, including one from Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, who told Rickman he was “doing justice to my most complex character,” and one from Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, saying, “To Alan, Thank you for all of my presents, I can’t wait to read Catcher in the Rye.”

According to Architectural Digest, the Rickman auction collection includes 35 boxes of diaries, photos, scripts, and other personal effects, including notes from Prince Charles, Tony Blair, and Bill Clinton. All said, the entire haul has been valued at $1.2 million.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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Which Friends Character Would Earn the Most Money in the Real World?

Warner Bros. Television/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Warner Bros. Television/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Although Friends went off the air in 2004, the iconic sitcom continues to attract new fans who've discovered the show via re-runs and streaming networks like HBO Max.

To play into this devoted fan base, the professional resume writers at StandOut-CV conducted a fun experiment: They asked more than 3000 fans to predict where Joey, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica would be today, career-wise. They also took the time to figure out how much each character would earn in their respective fields in the real world. Could we be more curious?

Bringing in the highest salary is Joey, whose acting exploits are projected to earn him approximately $61,022 a year. Next comes Dr. Ross, whose career as a paleontologist brings in an estimated $59,023. After that comes fashion designer Rachel, earning $54,563 a year, followed by Chandler's writer/editor salary of $47,039 annually. Phoebe comes next, with her musical career bringing in an annual salary of $43,604 (although the site doesn't mention how her massage therapy business might factor into her life today). Surprisingly, Monica would bring in the least amount of money; she'd earn an average of $43,165 per year as a head chef.

As far as where fans think the Friends gang would be today, the answers are pretty great: They believe Joey would have expanded his acting career to include his own reality series called Keeping Up With Joey Tribbiani. Monica, meanwhile, would have taken the next step in her culinary career by opening up her own restaurant, and her husband Chandler would have continued his passion for writing at a comics magazine. The last season of Friends follows Rachel as she works as an executive for Ralph Lauren, and fans theorize that she would have used her breadth of experience to start her own fashion brand. It's believed Phoebe would have continued her music career, perhaps even becoming a music teacher, while Ross would have spent time writing dinosaur-themed children's books.

Hopefully, the upcoming Friends reunion special will give fans a final answer on what the characters would be up to today.