It’s been six years since the final Harry Potter film premiered, and yet, when Emma Watson saw Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger in Cursed Child, emotions came flooding back to her, as she told Entertainment Weekly and People.com.
Despite the years between Harry Potter and her other films, and despite taking on another beloved and iconic heroine (Belle, in Beauty and The Beast), Watson’s attachment to Hermione still exists – even when she didn’t quite expect it to.
After seeing Cursed Child in at the Palace Theatre in London, she realized just how attached to Hermione’s legacy she’ll always be.
When sitting down with EW and People to discuss Beauty and The Beast, she told the story of seeing Noma take on the Potter role.
Emma and Noma
"“It was so emotional seeing Noma’s performance in a way that I had not anticipated at all. I went to the play like, ‘Oh, this’ll be great, this’ll be good to see,’ and didn’t even realize until she walked in the room and spontaneously just burst into tears. It was such an emotional moment, for me, I can’t tell you.It was such a relief, because I’d played that character so intensely up until that point. To know that Hermione was going to be okay…I know that sounds crazy, but to know that everything turned out all right and everything in the world was okay and that there was someone else carrying her on and carrying her forward, it was just such a relief. It made me so happy.We get that little flash forward at the end of the last film, but playing someone that just gets stuck in time at 20 years old, 19 years old … like, no, I wanted her to have a future. It was a relief. Again, I just feel so lucky to play someone that I care about as much as I care about Hermione – in a way, does feel like an extension of some of the essence of Hermione, too.The other weird thing is, Noma was a complete stranger, but I felt like I’d known forever. There was just an instant intimacy, connection … yeah, it’s crazy.”"
For most of her life, after all, she brought Hermione Granger to life. In so many ways, the two are similar – their big, brave Gryffindor hearts and love for knowledge, to begin with – and they grew up together. Letting go of a childhood friend is hard enough.
To let go of a character that you brought to life, that you helped mold, that you embodied for 10 years? We can’t imagine that ever leaves you.
We’ll always love her too, Emma.