The actor has revealed how she was inspired by the author after watching her appearance on Oprah, saying her example “was something that kept me going” when she was looking for work.
“Jo doesn’t know this, but I watched her on Oprah years ago and it was beautiful seeing these two billionairesses looking fabulous in their high heels talking about knowing their history,” she told Elle.
“It was so inspiring and it was something that kept me going when I wasn’t working or acting, and was dealing with being a single mum and just thinking, ‘What the hell am I, and what’s it all about?’
“And then years later I was asked to do these workshops and Jo was there, and we had a lovely chat about the possibility of what Hermione could be.”
The meeting could not have been better for Dumezweni, whose casting was defended by Rowling after she was first announced.
“Jo created these stories out of a moment of grief, and sadness and pain and they reverberated around the world; and god, I know this sounds a bit weird, but she’s in the same place as people like Mandela or Oprah in that she does life, she lives her life, and out of that comes the most beautiful, inspiring things.”
When Noma Dumezweni met Emma Watson
Dumezweni has also spoken about meeting fellow Hermione actor Emma Watson, saying they both “burst into tears” after she came to watch the play.
“I’m old enough to be her mother and we’re just different creatures; different actors, different people,” she said. “And then I went into the room and this girl stands up and just bursts into tears, and then I burst into tears and it was just absolutely gorgeous. She’s so open, and has the most generous spirit, she does everything with such grace.”