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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 18th May 2018 > Noma Dumezweni

Noma Dumezweni

PARTING SHOT

EMMA WATSON STARRED AS HERMIONE GRANGER IN EIGHT ADAPTATIONS OF J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular Harry Potter series, so for 15 years the Muggle-born witch and best friend to everybody’s favorite boy wizard looked like her. When Watson left the role, Rowling brought Hermione back, this time to the stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened to rapturous reviews, first in London, then on Broadway. The central pals—Harry, Hermione and Ron—are now grown up, married and parents to Hogwarts students. Hermione is now played by Noma Dumezweni, an award-winning British actress who perfectly captures her character’s spirit: super smart, a little irritating, always commanding. Dumezweni also happens to be black, which provoked some racist outrage. Rowling came to the actor’s defense, tweeting, “Brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.” Many more fans were thrilled to see a person of color in the part. “Representation is important today, and hopefully that will start a conversation,” Dumezweni says. “I get to do that in this production, so how lucky am I?”

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