Hogwarts without Hermione? Emma Watson opened up about why she almost walked away from the Harry Potter franchise after 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
“You were considering pulling out,” Rupert Grint, who played Watson’s friend and eventual love interest, Ron Weasley, said during a sneak peek of HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special via ET Canada. “I’ve never really spoken to you about that.”
Watson, 31, explained what made her second guess continuing as muggle Hermione for the final four films, saying, “I think I was scared. I don’t know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point where you were like, ‘This is kind of forever now.’”
Daniel Radcliffe, who played wizard Harry Potter in all eight movies, noted that the young cast never really discussed the ups and downs associated with the franchise’s massive success as it was happening.
“We never really spoke about it. I guess we were just going through it at our own pace,” the 32-year-old actor explained during the special alongside his longtime friends. “We were kind of in the moment at the time. It just didn’t really occur to us that we were all probably kind of having similar feelings.”
The Beauty and the Beast actress noted that she felt “lonely” in her career at the time, adding, “The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way.”
Tom Felton, who portrayed Draco Malfoy in the franchise, backed up Watson’s account of set life, explaining that she was the only girl a lot of the time.
“People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it,” the 34-year-old English actor said. “Dan and Rupert, they had each other. I had my cronies, whereas Emma was not only younger, [but] she was by herself.”
Grint, 33, said he understood where Watson was coming from was well, explaining that he questioned “what life would be like if I called it a day” on multiple occasions when they were growing up in the public eye.
Ultimately, the Perks of Being a Wallflower actress chose to stay and film the last four installments of the hit films — and she doesn’t regret the decision.
“The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed, and we all genuinely have each other’s backs. How great is that?” she said, adding that “no one had to convince” her to remain playing the beloved magical character.
Evanna Lynch — who played Luna Lovegood beginning with 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — exclusively told Us Weekly in June how warm Watson was to her when she joined the cast.
“Emma was always so nice to me and made an effort to get to know me and make me feel at home, which was a huge deal coming from her,” the 30-year-old Irish star said at the time. “And because I was such a big Harry Potter fan, I was very nervous around those three and intimidated by them.”
Lynch recalled rehearsing conversations to have with the three leads in order to be less anxious on set.
“I was so nervous. So, I just remember her being really kind and making a lot of effort to make me feel at home,” she said of the Little Women star.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts begins streaming on HBO Max Saturday, January 1.
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