Actress Noma Dumezweni Has a Message for Anyone Who Says She Can't Play Hermione

Source: AP
Source: AP

When it was announced in December that Noma Dumezweni, a black actress, would portray Hermione in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, she received the be-all-end-all seal of approval from J.K. Rowling herself, who tweeted, "Rowling loves black Hermione." 

Emma Watson appeared to have shared in that love:

But still, the internet being what it is, there was no shortage of haters who argued that Hermione could never be played by a person of color, pointing to a passage in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in which Hermione is described as having a "white face."

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Dumezweni spoke up against the flak. "It stems from ignorance," she said. "They don't want to be a part of the creative act. To say it's not as it was intended is so unimaginative."

The English actress told the Standard that while she's no stranger to prejudice, she has never had anyone so blatantly doubt her acting abilities based on her skin color as she did after the Cursed Child announcement. Dumezweni said, "I don't think they understand how theater works. We're here to heal you, make you smile and whisk you away. ... The only question we should ask is 'Are they good?' I've met great actors black and white and I've met bad actors black and white."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.