J.K. Rowling has no problem with a black actress playing Hermione Granger in the upcoming Harry Potter stage play.
Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, an upcoming production that follows an adult Harry and his youngest son, Albus. Emma Watson played the role in the eight Harry Potter films.
After the casting news was announced Monday, Rowling tweeted that she never specified Hermione’s race in the Potter books. “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione,” she wrote.
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In a statement released to Pottermore, the author added, ““I’m so excited with the choice of casting for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer.”
Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the film franchise, shared a similar outlook about the casting decision.
Dumezweni will be joined in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley as Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, respectively. The trio will lead a company of more than 30 actors, to be announced at a later date. Rowling developed the new two-part play, set 19 years after the last Potter novel, with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany.
Performances will begin in London on June 7.