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Alan Rickman's Prop-Taking Tradition Ended In Shame For Another Harry Potter Actor

Every movie, whether it's a hit or something nobody but test audiences ever gets to see, comes with carefully designed props and costumes that were created to help make that production's world as believable as possible. But with a film franchise like "Harry Potter," the sheer number of items created by talented behind-the-scenes artists far exceeds the average movie's collection. With this massive fantasy world and characters, the endless list of movie props and outfits was only multiplied due to the production of eight films.

When it comes to the "Harry Potter" film series, there are plenty of fans who can go on and on listing their favorite Wizarding World objects. In fact, some of the most iconic set pieces have been saved and preserved by the producers, now on display at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter. But it's not just the studio that wants to hold on to a piece of the movies' history, as the actors themselves often head home post-production with a piece of memorabilia in hand.

Actors swiping props from the set is nothing new. As for "Harry Potter," the three lead actors themselves, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, all admit to possessing some rare pieces of Hollywood nostalgia. However, Alan Rickman, who played Snape in the "Harry Potter" films, very openly grabbed props for himself, inspiring actor Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) to scope out his own item of "Potter" history. Isaacs' only mistake was that he asked permission, resulting in a shameful retraction by director David Yates.

Yates had to tell Isaacs to put the Prophet back

For the most part, it is safe to assume that the majority of actors that take props off of production sets do so for personal nostalgia, and not for any nefarious reasons. However, the act itself becomes a bit dicey when objects from smash franchises like "Harry Potter" get taken, as many may possess a high dollar value. That opens the door for producers to be taken advantage of, like when a Warner Bros. employee was caught taking and selling $40,000 worth of nostalgia from the studio stock room (via Vice). But when Jason Isaacs saw Alan Rickman taking items in view of everyone, he decided he wanted to get in on the action.

When Isaacs spoke to CinemaBlend, he recalled how Rickman was basically the master of the act, stating, "It was very difficult to steal things because Alan [Rickman] god love him ... He nicked all of the Gringotts coins on the very first day ... and swiped in and out like a supermarket." However, Isaacs didn't realize how difficult the act really was until after he had his prize in hand. 

Isaacs asked Yates if it was all right to take a copy of a Daily Prophet (a wizarding newspaper) from a pile. Yates gave no resistance. "I said I'd like one of those to director David Yates, who said, 'No problem mate,'" shared Isaacs. However, apparently, this was the wrong answer given, as he was told that Yates actually needed it back. "It was so embarrassing. So I got nothing," finished Isaacs. This must have been as humiliating to Yates as it was to Isaacs since it was pretty clear that it was upper management who made those decisions — not even the directors can dictate who takes props.