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Old 09-24-2016, 09:24 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post 'Cursed Child' actor Noma Dumezweni discusses casting, meeting Emma Watson, Broadway

Noma Dumezweni, who portrays Hermione Granger brilliantly in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the London West End, recently spoke about how she was brought on to play the iconic role, the very famous backlash her initial casting got, and meeting her Harry Potter films' counterpart, Emma Watson (who saw the plays back in June during their previews).

Quote: What was it like when you got cast in the show? There was all this buzz, obviously, when you got cast. Everyone was like Ö
Noma Dumezweni:
(jokes) I wonder why?

Somethingís different about you and Emma Watson.
Sheís young.

It was all handled beautifully. J.K. Rowling tweeted, ďWhite skin was never specified.Ē And now that the showís out there, itís a thing of the past.
I do think itís about imagery. When weíve grown to know something and love something so intensely, itís like moving. Everyone gets angsty about moving. What I love about this production is, literally, we start and within five minutes, itís a theatre show. Itís an extraordinary piece of theater that people just totally and utterly buy because your imaginationís opened up. Itís different to the films.

We all started with the books, and thatís what the extraordinary thing is Ė because itís Hermione 20 years later. Thatís my joy, that Iím able to play this character. Itís my joy that Jo Ö I can call her that now Ö Ms. Rowling and John Tiffany and Steven Hoggart, and Sonia and Colin, our producers, and Jack Thorne went, ďYeah, weíd love you to play it.Ē

Was it exciting when you were rehearsing and you got the script - and everyone wanted to know what was in the script. You were holding onto this golden thing.
We couldnít read it on the tube.

Did you have to sign papers?
We totally did. Nondisclosure agreements. Holding off telling people who were really close to you. Usually for a lot of actors, as I was saying, our learning time for script and lines is on the tube, on the subway, on the train, wherever weíre traveling to on the bus Ė and we couldnít bring these pieces of paper out just in case someone is, ďOh, what can that be?Ē Weirdly exciting to hold that secret, and joyous because itís about the story. Itís out there.

Thereís been a wonderful Twitter hashtag #keepthesecrets and we were wondering, ďWhatís that going to do when the story comes out?Ē because now everyone knows it. Actually what it does is makes it even more exciting because theatrically what youíre seeing Ė what youíre reading speaks for your imagination goes Ė but what these creative geniuses have done is made something Ö I know that magic is real, and Iím in that show.

What was it like when Emma Watson came out? What did she say to you when she came back[stage]?
I love her. Can I just first say that now? I love her. She is a beautiful, graceful heart young woman. We got to meet before she met the bigger company, and I knew she was in before anyone else did. I had a heads-up. I went to meet her after the show. I just remember opening the door, she stood up and we just looked at each other and burst into tears. What an extraordinary thing Ė we both get to play this extraordinary character called Hermione Granger.

Youíre linked together forever.
Totally and utterly linked together. We do different forms of creativity, and whatís lovely is her appreciation of the form. I keep going on about that. Iím mainly a theatre actor. Yes, TV and film is there as well, and I love those. I love this medium. So for her to say how beautiful the production was Ė and ultimately itís the production and all the values in the production Ė it was very pleasing. But what was very humbling was for her to say she got Hermione older, and she felt that she understood who that was via her storytelling. And Iím looking at this baby girl Ė Iím old enough to be her mama Ė and gosh, youíve done this since you were 8-9 years old, and youíre in your mid-twenties and changing the world. I think thatís extraordinary. She was absolutely gorgeous.

Whatís really exciting about you starring in this play is that youíre a real London theatre actor. You have real legitimate credits.
Iíve got meat to my bones.

Oh yeah, thereís a lot of meat there ... Youíve played in every theater in London, it feels like. And now you could literally be in this show for like years Ė this is such a commercial show.
Itís extraordinary. Iíve never done a West End show like this. Iíve done shows which have come in to the West End, but to rehearse for the West End Ė and it is the WEST END. Extraordinarily, Iíve passed the Palace Theatre for years and years and years since Iíve been in London.

Itís a beautiful theatre, in my opinion.
Iíd never been in until we first looked at this for this job. Les Mis, so many different things have been here. The privilege is extraordinary. Thereís a wonderful saying on stage door, and of course, I canít remember right now, but it is about artistry over the ages coming through. You kind of go, ďOh my goodness. I am Ė all of us Ė we are part of those energies coming through. The history of this amazing building. So itís absolute privilege.

Are you getting recognized on the streets yet?
Yeah. Thatís weird. Itís lovely, but itís weird.

The Potter fans are very passionate.
Are extraordinary. And do you know what? The love thatís come out, itís been beautiful. So for all the negativity that happened, thatís about 10 percent of the love thatís come out Ė and especially those that have come to see the show. And people, please, I know that tickets are hard. Itís redonkulous. But there are Friday 40s. There are people doing returns. One girl just walked past one day and just checked Ė and she got it. She was so in awe. So you never know. Have faith.
Dumezweni, like other Cursed Child cast members like Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy) and Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), have voiced interest in wanting to play the characters on Broadway if and when it comes to New York City (as early as next summer, according to rumors). Their contracts for the London production end this coming May.

Order the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book hardcover on, and WBShop now.
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