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Black actress to play Hermonine speaks out on race backlash

SPEAKING OUT: Actress Noma Dumezweni

Critics of black actors ‘lack imagination’ says Noma Dumezweni
THE BLACK actress cast to play the adult Harry Potter heroine Hermione Granger has spoken out against critics who insist that black actors can’t play ‘white characters.’

Noma Domezweni has described her critics as “ignorant” and “lacking imagination” in a candid interview with The Evening Standard.

The Olivier Award-winning actress said: “It stems from ignorance. They don’t want to be a part of the creative act. To say it’s not as it was intended is so unimaginative.

“I don’t think they understand how theatre works. We’re here to heal you, make you smile and whisk you away.”

The 45-year-old said she had been subjected to “unconscious” prejudice in her own career when going for roles, but had never been questioned about her ability to play a character because she is black.

“The only question we should ask is ‘Are they good?’ I’ve met great actors black and white and I’ve met bad actors black and white,” she said.

News that the black actress would play the intellectual Hermione Granger in the stage adaptation, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, sparked a widespread debate about race.

As fans raged over the deviation from the big screen blockbuster, the actress got the nod of approval from Harry Potter author J K Rowling and actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the film franchise.

The Swaziland-born, British-raised actress also spoke on the trend of black British actors who have moved to the US in search of better work, explaining: “We have to hold on to the choice that it will get better here.”

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