Author J.K. Rowling hosts a special family fundraising evening in aid of her children's charity, Lumos
IN PHOTO: Author J.K. Rowling hosts a special family fundraising evening in aid of her children's charity, Lumos, at the "Warner Bros. Studio - The Making of Harry Potter in Hertfordfshire" in London November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris Reuters/Olivia Harris

“Harry Potter” fans who were waiting for the next book in the series had to settle for the next best thing – a play by J.K. Rowling. But, not all were prepared to see their favourite character Hermione being played by Noma Dumezweni, a black actress.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rowling said that Dumezweni was cast in the role because she was “the best actress for the job.” It was John Tiffany who cast the actress and the author felt that she was the right choice because she had seen Dumezweni in a workshop and the actress was apparently “fabulous.”

There has been a “black Hermione” theory around for years, but Tiffany did not expect the kind of response he got online after the casting was announced. He said that it was “brilliant” that they have cast Dumezweni in the lead role because many fans were not able to visualise a non-white person as a hero.

Agreeing with Tiffany, Rowling explained that in the “Harry Potter” books there was always the possibility of Hermione being black. She described some of the fans who wanted her to make sure a white person played the role as “a bunch of racists.” She said that a black woman can play the role with her “absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

In spite of the casting controversy, fans are eager to watch the play, which promises a few onstage “surprises.” Rowling has requested the fans who have watched the play to keep the secrets they know, so that the fans who watch the play later can enjoy it too.

The new “Harry Potter” play begins around the time the grownup heroes arrive at the train station to send their children off to Hogwarts School. Harry works at the Ministry of Magic and must deal with “ a past that refuses to stay where it belongs.” Meanwhile, his son Albus has to deal with “must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.”

Credit: Twitter/ J.K. Rowling