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Here’s Why Emma Watson Almost Quit “Harry Potter” Franchise

Emma Watson almost didn’t reprise her role for the last four Harry Potter films.

The superstar spoke candidly in the upcoming HBO Max special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts about why once considered leaving her role. At one point during the reunion special, director David Yates shared that Watson contemplated exiting the franchise around the time he signed on to direct the fifth film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, per The Wrap.

In one scene, Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint all discussed the intense fame that came along with their roles, which they performed throughout their childhoods. Watson also recalled rereading a diary entry from around the same time she was considering quitting, and said it was clear she felt lonely.

“[Order of the Phoenix] was when things started getting spicy for all of us,” she told Grint. “I think I was scared. I don’t know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point where you were like, ‘This is kind of forever now.'”

The Ron Weasley actor also admitted that he had thoughts about leaving his role.

“I had moments like that kind of all the way through,” he told Watson. “I also had similar feelings to Emma kind of contemplating what life would be like if I called it a day, but we never really spoke about it. I guess we were just kind of going through it at our own pace. We were kind of in the moment at the time. It just didn’t really occur to us that we were all having similar feelings.”

“The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way,” she added.

The trio also recalled that, though they had similar feelings, they did not share their struggles at the time.

“We never talked about it on the film because we were all just kids,” Radcliffe said. “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 okay?'”

When explaining why she stayed in her role, the Beauty and the Beast actress noted that she made the decision on her own. She also mentioned that the Harry Potter fandom was very supportive.

“No one had to convince me to see it through. The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed and like all genuinely had everyone’s backs. How great is that?” she said.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts premieres on HBO Max on Jan. 1, 2022.