It’s been 15 years since Emma Watson first gave life to the role of Hermione Granger. Everyone has been so enamored by the Muggle-born witch, that’s why some find it difficult to see the British beauty doing mature roles.
When the trailer for Watson’s current film Colonia was released, some expressed their shock as the 26-year-old star shared intimate scenes with her co-star Daniel Brühl. In an interview with the Times, she revealed that being associated with Hermione’s role was great but could also be burdensome.
“Yes, three and half seconds of nude pictures which were not particularly risqué. It’s deeply irritating… I’m 26 now. I’ve been in 15 films in total and me kissing somebody else shouldn’t be risqué or horrifying, but I think that will continue for a long time. There have been lots of advantages to being part of that franchise [Harry Potter], and playing that role for a long time, but inevitably there are obstacles and that’s one of them.”
This might be the reason why Watson was so happy to meet the “new” Hermione. Noma Dumezweni is playing the role of Hermione in the current Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play in London.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower actress shared her experience on Facebook. She praised the play and said some of its elements were “even more beautiful than the films.” She said the play’s cast and crew treated her like a family member and that the new Hermione was everything she hoped for.
“Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be all right, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting – and emotional!”
The theater actress likewise felt happy upon seeing the Beauty and the Beast star.
Dumezweni previously talked to the Guardian about her fascination with Hermione.
“She’s Hermione, isn’t she? She rocks. She’s the one who grounds them. She’s the one who says: ‘You can do better. You’ve got to own up to yourself.’ I’ve got to be careful how I say this, but we all aspire to be Hermione. She’s struggled, but she holds it all together.”
When it was announced in December that Dumezweni bagged the coveted role, sneers emerged particularly from people who believed Hermione must be “white.” The casting decision came across a barrage of vitriol that inevitably pained Dumezweni.
Nonetheless, the cheers continue to outweigh the negativity. Author J.K. Rowling told the Observer that the reactions did not surprise her as “idiots were going to idiot.”
“Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”
Recently, Sam Clemmett, who plays Albus Potter in the play, said that Rowling never mentioned Hermione’s ethnicity in the books. For him, the only thing that’s vital is that Dumezweni does a wonderful job in helping the story unfold beautifully.
Preview shows of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child started last month. For those who are unable to go to London to watch the play, a book will be released on July 30.
[Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]