28 December 2021

Return To Hogwarts: Why Emma Watson almost quit Harry Potter role

28 December 2021

Emma Watson has opened up about almost quitting her Harry Potter role when she became overwhelmed after being catapolted into the spotlight at such a young age.

The actress, now 31, was just nine-years-old when she was cast as Hermione Granger in the first Harry Potter movie, having previously acted only in school plays.

From 2001 to 2011, she starred in eight Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, who played Harry Potter and Ron Weasley respectively.

The revelation that Watson almost gave it all up comes to light during a new special to mark the 20th anniversary of the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Due to begin streaming on HBO Max on New Year’s Day, Return To Hogwarts sees the original cast and filmmakers reunite to reflect on the milestone and share some of their favourite memories from filming.

As the programme reaches the fifth instalment, Order of the Phoenix, director David Yates recalls how producer David Heyman and the studio had warned him that Watson “wasn’t sure if she wants to come back”.

“People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it,” Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton says. “Dan and Rupert had each other, I had my cronies, whereas Emma was not only younger, she was by herself.”

Watson herself recalls finding a diary entry in which she could see “I was lonely”, adding: “The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way.”

Speaking to Grint, she says she felt “scared” as the fame the cast were experiencing reached “a tipping point”.

Her co-star admits he too had wondered what his life would be like if he had “called it a day”.

Watson said ultimately no one had to convince her to see the franchise through, explaining: “The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed and we all genuinely had each other’s backs. How great is that?”

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