“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”‘s Jenny Jules Discusses Hermione

The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a new Hermione Granger, actress Jenny Jules! Jules, who took over the role from Noma Dumezweni last month, was recently interviewed by TheaterMania about what it’s like to play one of the most famous witches in the world.

One of the questions that Jules was asked was how she thought Hermione has matured since the book series.

She’s grown up… and she becomes the person she knows she is. She’s the smartest person in the wizarding world. She says, ‘Listen to me.’ And they do.

She also added that she was excited to see Hermione and Ron’s relationship.

And what I love about Hermione is, she gets her love. She gets to be with Ron, who[m] she’s always loved. I’m reading some of the books again, and I’m laughing at how they just butt up all the time! And that’s that energy of, ‘What is it that makes me spark when I’m near you?’ She doesn’t have that same relationship with Harry because Harry is her brother. She identifies with Harry. He’s an only child; so is she. He was raised in a Muggle land; so was she. She understands him better than anyone else in the magical world. But Ron is her heart, and she gets to be with her heart. I love that she experiences the world with that.

Jules also had some love for her costar Matt Mueller, who is currently in the role of Ron Weasley.

And Matt Mueller I am in love with. His Ron is so funny; he’s so warm and silly and smart and scaredy-cat. And that’s what I love about him: He’s so afraid, but he’s the most courageous of all because he has the most fear, but he will stand in the front and he will always volunteer to be first.

When asked what was at the core of who Hermione is, Jules answered with three main words: compassion, responsibility, and honesty.

She takes responsibility for all the actions that she does. And when things go badly, she even takes responsibility for the fact that she might have made a mistake. Her shoulders are so broad; she will stand and take the shots. She won’t pass the buck or blame anyone else. She’s not into that. She’s just like, I’m gonna stand up. I’m gonna be a stand-up person who will be accountable. She’s an amazing leader.

Jules was additionally asked about the casting of Hermione and whether or not she sees her as a person of color. In her response, Jules referenced the original casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, which was met with controversy.

I think in casting Noma Dumezweni, it was color-blind and color-conscious at the same time because she’s such a brilliant actor that John Tiffany just chose the best actor, but in doing that, he said, ‘I’m going to start this journey with this person who happens to be of this racial ethnicity and I have to think about the future of this character.’ And I think that in being color-blind, he was color-conscious because he then had to cast me! And Rakie [Ayola] and whoever else is cast in Melbourne. And there’ll be somebody else cast in San Francisco and wherever else the show goes. So I think he was starting a revolution. And…I’m so thrilled to stand up and to take responsibility and to try [to] deliver something that honors the imaginings of young women of color — and young men!

Expressing her appreciation for fans’ responses to the show, Jules recalled one instance when a little girl’s laughter at the scene in front of her kept her laughing on the stage too. She added that she loves that the characters are so real to the audience, and she shared her own heartbreak upon finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

When I finished reading book number seven, I burst into tears and I cried for about three days because I was exhausted, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ But I also cried because that was the end of my friends. That was the end of that adventure and the journey. And what’s lovely about [Cursed Child] is, you get to have them back.

You can read the full interview with Jenny Jules here.

Have you seen Jules as Hermione? Were you excited to have your friends from the Harry Potter series back in Cursed Child? Tell us in the comments below!