Emma Watson Almost Quit ‘Harry Potter’ When Fame ‘Hit Home in a Big Way’

Rupert Grint also said there were days on set when he contemplated "what life would be like if I called it a day."
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1, from left: Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, 2010. ©2010 Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter publishing rights ©J.K.R. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and ©Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint weren’t yet teenagers when they took on the roles of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley in the Wizarding World film series led off by director Chris Columbus. They were also all relative newcomers to the screen. As revealed in an early clip from the upcoming “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” on HBO Max, the then-young actors (now all in their 30s) spoke about the price of fame at such an early age — and how they contemplated quitting the film series when it got too close to home. (Via Insider.)

In the one-off special, which is intended to mark the 20th anniversary of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and now also marks the 10th anniversary of the last in the eight-film series, Grint recalls a moment during production when Watson brought up the possibility of quitting.

“You were considering pulling out. I’ve never really spoken to you about that,” Grint said.

Watson said, “Yeah. 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.”

Grint said that “all the way through” his time on the film franchise, he found himself “contemplating what life would be like if I called it a day.”

Radcliffe also addressed his own anxieties about the franchise, saying, “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.”

“The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way,” Watson said.

Later on in the reunion, David Yates (who helmed four “Harry Potter” films) said that producer David Heyman approached him about the fact that “Emma is not sure she wants to come back to do another Potter.”

Noting the pressures on Watson being the only leading heroine in the movies, Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy) said, “People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it. Dan and Rupert, they had each other. I had my cronies, whereas Emma was not only younger, she was by herself.”

Watson said that, eventually, “no one had to convince” her to stay onboard.

“The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed, and we all genuinely have each other’s backs. How great is that?” she said.

The 20th-anniversary special debuts on HBO Max January 1. Additional Harry Potter film alumni joining the memorable tribute include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Ian Hart, Toby Jones, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, producer David Heyman, and filmmakers Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates.

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