emma watson on her magical meeting with noma dumezweni, the new hermione
'It was AMAZING,' Watson said of seeing ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child,’ the stage adaption that became the subject of racist backlash last year when it was announced that her character would be played by actress Noma Dumezweni.
All too often, rabid fans protest when a fictional character is recast as a person whose ethnicity, gender identity, or sexuality diverges from the character's original description. Considering this racist, sexist, and homophobic outcry comes from readers who delight in fantastical worlds of superheroes, light sabers, dragon slayers, and wizards, the lack of imagination regarding a character's physical portrayal is both ironic and appalling. And yet, that's exactly how some Harry Potter stans reacted upon learning that Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni would play Hermione Granger in the highly-anticipated stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child when the news was announced in December.
The series' author, J.K. Rowling responded with a brilliant clap-back tweet: "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione." Emma Watson, the actress who played Granger in Harry Potter's blockbuster filmic adaption, simply responded: "Can't wait to see Noma Dumezweni as Hermione on stage this year," followed by a bunch of heart emojis. Yesterday, that day came, and Watson enjoyed every minute of it.
"Yesterday I went to see the Cursed Child. I came in with no idea what to expect and it was AMAZING," Watson wrote in a heartfelt Facebook post. "Some things about the play were, I think, possibly even more beautiful than the films. Having seen it I felt more connected to Hermione and the stories than I have since Deathly Hallows came out, which was such a gift," Watson reflected. The Cursed Child imagines life for the wizarding students 19 years after defeating Lord Voldemort, and Watson spoke to the moving experience of meeting her character later in life. "Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)!" She concluded the post expressing gratitude to the cast and crew for treating her "like family."
A previous version of this article referred to Hermione as a half-muggle. It was kindly pointed out by Harry Potter fans on Twitter that both of Hermione's parents are muggles.
Text Emily Manning
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