It has been announced that Noma Dumezweni, a person of color, will play Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Noma Dumezweni

Is there any indication of JK Rowling's involvement in this casting? And what does this affect in terms of Hermione's ethnicity?

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    Possible duplicate of What is Hermione Granger's ethnicity? - a VERY controversial question with loads of upvotes and loads of downvotes!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 1:56
  • @randal'thor I was unaware of how much the issue has been discussed. I have modified my question to refer exclusively to the Cursed Child casting, which I don't believe was involved in the other discussion.
    – ibid
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 2:04
  • Fair enough (I was unaware of the Cursed Child casting); VTC retracted and answer posted!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 2:17
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    To answer the second part of the question, the effect on Hermione's ethnicity is that she is black in (this production of) Cursed Child and she is white in the movies. That's all you can say. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


According to her twitter page, she was involved in the casting of the play, but the Director had final refusal.

John Green: speaking of which, great job on the casting of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

JKR: Thanks! John (director) cast my three first choices so I'm very happy! His decision, though, because Writers. Don't. Do. Casting.

J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015



From here:

The play's producer Sonia Friedman told The Daily Mail that J.K. Rowling and playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany Callender collaborated on casting. "We were all involved with all the key casting decisions," Friedman said.

  • 3
    Well, if this was someone of integrity like Heinlein or Ursula Le Guin, I'd say the author was simply sneaky and not revealing all their cards. Being who this author is IRL, most likely it's simply deciding politics takes priority over art (J.J. Abrams sends his regards, along with the codes to disable shields to Starkiller base). Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 2:54
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    @DVK No, that just indicates that Hermione's skin colour isn't something she cares about, which this latest casting, the books and her own words on the matter all support. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 14:35
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    @DrRDizzle - Pretty much all actors are equally adequate given good material, IMO. It may matter in deeply complex and layered character like Snape, but pretty much any female actress can be good as Hermione - that character's quaities are about screenplay (dialog and settings) and not emoting via acting, for most part (see Anakin Skywalker for reverse situation, or better yet Padme. Nobody ever accused Natalie Portman of being a poor actress). Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 14:44
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    @DrRDizzle - re: Richard's question, I kinda ignored it before for most part; but upone rereading now, it already has 4 extremely convincing answers: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/105472, scifi.stackexchange.com/a/105475, scifi.stackexchange.com/a/105468. Plus Richard's own answer. All your and Alex's answers provide are latter-day JKR retcons (which are WoG, but don't change the fact that it's as much of a retcon as Han shooting last) Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 2:30
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    Can't wait for the first male to play Hermione.
    – Belegorn
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 20:08

Straight from the horse's mouth (a tweet direct from JK Rowling):

Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione

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    While this confirms her ethnicity, this quote does not answer the question of whether or not JKR was involved in the casting.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 14:32
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    Can't JKR just say that her characters don't have a specific "canon" race? After all, the list of attributes of a perfect stage actress for Hermione needn't be encumbered by race checkboxes. Further, does the name "black Hermione" vs "Hermione" indicate that "Hermione" isn't black? Otherwise the "black Hermione" would be a bit of silly thing to say. Unless of course Hermione is a bit like Michael Jackson is some way. Heeeeeey Pottermore. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 15:03
  • 1
    This doesn't seem to answer the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:36

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