NPR logo Black Actress To Play Hermione In Harry Potter Play

Black Actress To Play Hermione In Harry Potter Play

The Harry Potter saga lives on. A new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — which delves into Potter's life as an adult — will open in London in the summer of 2016. Casting for major characters was announced this week, and Hermione will be played by Noma Dumezweni, a decorated stage veteran who is of South African heritage.

J.K. Rowling applauded the casting of the black actress on Twitter, reminding fans that Hermione's ethnicity was never specified in the books.

Some observers have questioned whether J.K. Rowling was as open minded about Hermione's race when she penned the seven-book series as she now seems to be, and have taken the author to task for not including more characters of color.

Hermione was played by actress Emma Watson in the eight movies, but some fans online have long imagined Hermione as black.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not the only new dose of the franchise fans can look forward to. A Harry Potter film prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be released in November 2016.

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