The diaries of late actor Alan Rickman will be published as a single book in 2022, it has been announced.
The Guardian reports that publisher Canongate has acquired the rights to the 27 handwritten volumes that Rickman began writing as his career was taking off during the early Nineties.
By this point, he had established himself as a formidable stage presence at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was a household name for his roles as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988), as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and opposite Juliet Stevenson in Truly, Madly, Deeply.
Earlier this year, Bill & Ted actor Alex Winter revealed that Rickman was so convincing as Gruber that people on the street “spat in his face”, as he spoke about the perils of being recognised for one particular role.
“I remember walking down the street with Alan Rickman once,” Winter told The New York Times in August.
“A fan came up to us, and afterwards Alan was like, ‘You’re so lucky that you’re known for playing Bill and not Hans Gruber the terrorist. People come up to me and spit in my face. They come up to you and tell you how much they love you.’”
Rickman continued writing diaries for the next 25 years, as he went on to star in films including Sense and Sensibility, the Harry Potter franchise, Dogma, and Love Actually. His last entries were made before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, aged 69. His intention was that they would one day be published.
His widow, Rima Horton, who had been with Rickman since 1965 and married him in 2012, told The Guardian that she was delighted that the diaries were being published. She said Rickman’s writing revealed his “sense of humour, his sharp observation, his craftmanship and his devotion to the arts”.
“More than anything though, the diaries reveal the real Alan Rickman, funny, passionate, occasionally provocative, and give fresh insight into his art,” Canongate said.
“He wrote his diaries as if chatting with a close friend. They provide pitch-perfect vignettes: short, pithy paragraphs painting big pictures, and offering intriguing insights into himself, his peers and the world around him. They are intimate, perceptive and very funny.”
The Diaries of Alan Rickman will be published in autumn 2022.