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‘People forget what she took on’: Harry Potter cast address how Emma Watson almost quit film franchise

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  • Emma Watson
    Emma Watson
    English actress and activist
  • Rupert Grint
    Rupert Grint
    English actor
  • Tom Felton
    Tom Felton
    English actor and singer
  • David Heyman
    David Heyman
    British film producer

Sky’s Harry Potter celebration Return to Hogwarts addresses how Emma Watson once came close to quitting her role as Hermione Granger.

In the special, released on 1 January 2022, the cast and filmmakers go over their favourite memories of the beloved film franchise, to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

As the programme reaches the Order of the Phoenix film, director David Yates recalls how producer David Heyman and the studio 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 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 her former co-star Rupert Grint, she says she felt “scared” as the fame the cast were experiencing reached “a tipping point”.

Grint admits to wondering what his life would be like if he “called it a day”.

Watson said ultimately no one had to convince her to see the franchise through.

“The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed and we all genuinely had each other’s backs,” she says. “How great is that?”

Elsewhere in the programme, Radcliffe revealed the flirty note that he wrote to an older cast member on the last day of filming, while Watson detailed the moment she “fell in love” with Felton on set.

Radcliffe also described “trying to be cool” to impress co-star Gary Oldman, and Ralph Fiennes revealed what lead him to accept the role of the villainous Lord Voldemort.

Contrary to early reports, controversial Harry Potter author JK Rowling did in fact feature in the special. Rowling’s involvement had been thrown into doubt following a backlash over comments she has made about transgender people.

The special closed with a tribute to the late Alan Rickman, a moment which moved Harry Potter fans to tears.

You can read The Independent’s review of Return to Hogwarts here.

The Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts airs on New Year’s Day exclusively on Sky and streaming service NOW.

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