Two decades after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone debuted in theaters, the cast of the beloved franchise are looking back at their time in the wizarding world of Harry Potter thanks to the all-new HBO Max special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts and during the reunion, star Emma Watson opened up about how she, at one point, seriously considered quitting the franchise and walking away from the role of Hermione Granger.
During the reunion, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix director David Yates spoke about how Watson wanted to quit, and Watson acknowledged the situation, noting that she was lonely at that particular time in her life and experience.
"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,"' Watson said.
She added, "It was around the time of Order of the Phoenix when things started getting spicy for all of us."
She went on to explain that the fans also genuinely wanted her to succeed, though the fame had "finally hit home".
"The fame thing had finally hit home – in a big way. No-one had to convince me to see it through. The fans genuinely wanted me to succeed, and they all genuinely have each other's backs. How great is that?"
As it turns out, Watson wasn't the only cast member who had similar feelings. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley noted that he had similar feelings, but that it was something that they'd never spoken about at the time.
"I also had sort of similar feelings to Emma, contemplating what life would be like if I called it a day," Grint said. "We never really spoke about it. I guess we were just going through it at our own pace, 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."
Now streaming on HBO Max, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts features not only Watson and Grint along with Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, but also features Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, and Evanna Lynch, among others, including Chris Columbus, who directed the first two movies in the series.
"The goal was always to cast kids who you hoped could carry the franchise for the next several years," Columbus previously told ComicBook.com in an interview about the anniversary of the first movie. "None of us have any idea how kids are going to age, or if they're going to become better and better actors. But as a result of casting those three kids ... The first film I always call 'acting class' because none of them had that much experience. If you notice, there's a lot of cuts in the first film. We had to cut, we had four cameras running, because we never knew what the kids were going to do, but by the time they got to the second film and particularly [Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban], these kids were able to walk, talk, deliver an entire scene and you could do it in one shot. I always felt great about where they got to in terms of acting abilities under the first two films, but I never even expected them to age as wonderfully as they did. And their acting just continued to get better and better. A lot of luck in that particular situation."
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H/T: Digital Spy