J.K. Rowling still doesn’t do many interviews, but she does have a very active Twitter account. Here at EW we try to keep up with all of the iconic author’s delightful doings, from Harry Potter tidbits to fun fan interactions. This is the Week in J.K. Rowling.
Cursed Child casting
The biggest news in the Potterverse this week was the unveiling of cast photos for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Although casting had previously been released, we had no idea what Noma Dumezweni would look like as Hermione, or how Jamie Parker would fit into Harry’s glasses. Now we have in-character portraits of them, along with their children. The fact that the photos were staged by family might imply that generational transition will be a major theme of the play, but we still don’t know who, exactly, is supposed to be the titular “cursed child.”
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens June 7 in London, and it’s safe to call it one of the most anticipated theater events of the year. In order to make its limited space more accessible, the production took a nod from another hot play. Just as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has long offered fans the chance to compete in a lottery for $10 tickets (adorned with the hashtag #Ham4Ham, for the protagonist’s placement on the $10 bill), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has started #FridayForty, an opportunity to acquire tickets for as little as 15 pounds. No worries if you missed this one, Potter fans; the giveaways look set to continue.
The science of magic
There’s a lot of fun, fantastic magic in the Harry Potter series. Although most of the spell words come from Latin roots, Rowling has never claimed that the magic itself had any basis in reality. That sure didn’t stop two different teams of researchers from investigating the science of Gillyweed and Skele-Gro, the implements Harry uses to breathe underwater and regrow bones at various parts of the series. These researchers found, to no one’s surprise, that neither would be scientifically feasible. Gillyweed would, for one thing, require Harry to close his mouth while swimming, and Skele-Gro would need to produce a hell of a lot of energy to accomplish its task in such a short time. So don’t expect a real-life version of those anytime soon … even if scientists continue to proclaim they’re inching closer to an Invisibility Cloak.
Another fight with an MP
Rowling is not shy about getting into Twitter arguments, even if they involve British politicians. She previously got into it with Scottish politician Natalie McGarry back in January, and this week got into a spat with Scottish MP Pete Wishart. Weirdly enough, their fight centered around Wishart questioning a journalist about whether his jokey tweet reflected the views of his employer … in other words, the whole thing could’ve been solved by a simple inclusion of that seemingly ubiquitous “opinions are my own” line seen in so many journalist Twitter bios. Wishart tried to take the whole spat with humor, but Rowling didn’t seem very amused.