After Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione actress Emma Watson considered leaving the magical series. She has spoken about this before, and in the new Harry Potter 20th anniversary retrospective special on HBO Max, Watson and her other co-stars shared more insight.
Order of the Phoenix director David Yates said he was informed when he was hired to direct the fourth film that Watson was unsure about if she wanted to make another Harry Potter movie.
Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy, said people don’t fully appreciate how much Watson was going through at the time. “People definitely forget what she took on, and how gracefully she did it. [Dan Radcliffe and Rupert Grint], they had each other. I had my cronies. Whereas Emma was not only younger, she was by herself,” Felton said.
Watson herself said in the special, “I could see that at times I was lonely.”
Radcliffe spoke about the matter as well, saying neither he nor Watson or Grint spoke about these issues when making the films simply because they were so young.
“We never talked about it on the film because we were all just kids. As a 14 year old boy I was never going to turn around to another 14 year old and be like, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Is everything OK?’” Radcliffe said.
In a conversation with Grint during the special, Watson said she reached a “tipping point” where she realized that “this is kind of forever now,” and that gave her some pause. Grint acknowledged that he had moments of feeling this way “all the way through” the series.
But in the end, Watson came back for the final Harry Potter movies, and that’s thanks in part to support from fans her co-stars.
“No one had to convince me to see it through,” he said. “The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed, and we all genuinely have each other’s backs. How great is that?”
The 20th anniversary Harry Potter special is streaming now on HBO Max.