“Harry Potter” fans have a new Golden Trio to watch. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the West End play that will follow Harry and his adolescent son, has finally cast a few leads. Pottermore revealed the new trio: Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley and Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Weasley (née Granger). It’s Dumezweni who is causing quite a few waves with her casting. The black actress obviously looks quite different from the Emma Watson’s Hermione Granger in the films, but there is a lot more to know about Dumezweni than just her physical appearance. Check out a few facts about the new Hermione actress:
1. A Long Career – Though the "Harry Potter" films had to cast newcomers because the roles were so young, the leap into the future allows the new trio to have much more acting experience. Dumezweni has a long list of roles spanning over a decade. Her theater credits include “Much Ado About Nothing” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream." She also has quite a few TV credits, including roles on “Doctor Who” and “Shameless.” She recently took over the lead role in “Linda” on the West End after “Sex and the City” star Kim Cattrall had to back out for medical reasons, the Evening Standard reports.
2. Awards – Dumezweni won an Olivier Award, one of the highest honors an actor in the U.K. can achieve, in 2006 for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Ruth Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun.
3. South African – Much like her predecessor Emma Watson, who was born in France, Dumezweni wasn’t born in the U.K. She is a Swaziland native, the South African reports, and she lived in Kenya and Uganda before her parents moved her family to Suffolk, England.
4. Directing – Though the actress will make her debut as Hermione in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” this summer, she’ll take on another new challenge in February. She’ll make her directorial debut with a new play called “I See You,” which will have a run on the West End before moving to Johannesburg.
5. J.K. Rowling Approved – The “Harry Potter” author assured her followers that although Dumezweni looks different from the film version of Hermione, neither is wrong. She says she never described Hermione’s skin color in the books and supports Dumezweni.
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione _ https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was written by Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The story will be divided into two plays, both of which will begin previews at the Palace Theater in London on June 7, 2016.