Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has cast its three leads to portray the trio in their older years.
Update: (December 21) J.K. Rowling has officially made a statement (aka tweeted about) the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. When asked how she feels, she said she loves black Hermione.
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione ? https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015
Original story (December 20): As we learned earlier this year, The Cursed Child is a sequel to the books — “the eighth story” — focusing on Harry and his son Albus Severus. Visit the play’s official website for ticket information!
The Daily Mail reported the casting of the three Cursed Child leads on Sunday evening, including Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger. This casting is the most immediately notable of the trio, as Noma is a person of color. Hermione was, obviously, depicted as white in the Harry Potter movies. Although, as noted by BuzzFeed’s Alanna Bennett earlier this year, Rowling never made her race clear.
In addition, Jamie Parker has been cast as Harry Potter.
And Paul Thornley has been cast as Ron Weasley.
And here’s a photo of the new trio:
Jamie Parker first made waves in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, as part of the original West End, Broadway and film cast alongside Dominic Cooper, James Corden and Richard “Uncle Vernon” Griffiths. He’s a staple of the London theatre scene, with acclaimed performances as Henry V at Shakespeare’s Globe and in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. He starred in Assassins with Catherine Tate and is currently playing Sky Masterson, a role formerly tackled by Marlon Brando and Ewan McGregor, in Guys and Dolls. Onscreen, he’s most recently been seen in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and notably supported Tom Cruise in Valkyrie and Benedict Cumberbatch in Van Gogh: Painted with Words.
Noma Dumezweni won a Laurence Olivier Award (the highest accolade in British theatre) for her supporting role in A Raisin in the Sun at the Young Vic and has appeared regularly in West End productions. She’s also guest-starred in a host of British TV shows, including in Doctor Who as UNIT officer Captain Erisa Magambo in “Turn Left” and “Planet of the Dead.” Having a black Hermione was already a popular idea adopted by the Harry Potter fandom as a logical fit for the character and a way to add diversity to the books, so this casting choice is sure to make people very happy!
Paul Thornley is a veteran British actor with a long history of stage and screen work. For stage, he’s most notable for the innovative National Theatre production London Road. For television, he’s appeared as a guest actor on many shows and also as a documentary narrator, and he had roles in musical film versions of London Road and Les Miserables (let’s hope Ron doesn’t sing). He also did voice work in Minions!
The Daily Mail reports: “Producer Friedman said the casting was a collective decision involving Rowling, Tiffany, Thorne, Callender and herself. ‘We were all involved with all the key casting decisions.’”
All three of the actors look older than the Harry, Hermione, and Ron we remember from the film’s epilogue played by Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. Then again, filmmakers had to age up young actors using make-up.
More details are expected soon.
The Cursed Child opens in London’s West End this summer.
Additional reporting by Natalie Fisher.