HARRY POTTER star Alan Rickman was an unlikely choice to play real-life medical hero DR ALFRED BLALOCK because he was awful in science at school.

The British thespian heavily researched the role as the world's first heart surgery specialist for TV movie SOMETHING THE LORD MADE, and now wishes he'd paid more attention in school.

He says, "I got four per cent in physics. Me and science are not bedfellows.

"CHRISTIAAN (corr) BARNARD looms so large in the world of heart surgery but you forget there were people who got there first in terms of having the guts to cut into the heart."

Blalock made history in 1944 when he teamed up with untrained carpenter VIVIEN THOMAS to performed the first heart surgery experiments. Thomas is played by rapper Mos Def in the film.

28/05/2004 09:16