The 20th-anniversary reunion special of the global phenomenon Harry Potter, titled ‘Return to Hogwarts’, will be releasing on HBO Max on January 1.

In a surprising revelation during the feature-length special, actor Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in all eight films, shared how she once considered leaving the franchise as she “felt scared” and lonely by her newfound fame. 

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Emma said, “The fame thing had finally hit home – in a big way. No-one had to convince me to see it through. The fans genuinely wanted me to succeed and they all genuinely have each other’s backs. How great is that?”

“I think I was scared. I don’t know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point when you were like… ‘This is kind of forever now’,” she told her co-star Rupert Grint in the special, reported People.

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The disclosure even surprised Rupert Grint, who admitted that the two of them hadn’t ever spoken about that period of her life. Recalling his own experience, he said, “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.”  

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Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the films, said that Watson had shown ‘grace’ despite such a huge responsibility at a young age. “Dan and Rupert, they had each other, I had my cronies, whereas Emma was not only younger, she was by herself,” he pointed out, adding, “People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it.”

Co-star Daniel Radcliffe also shared, “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 okay?'” 

The reunion special, which features behind-the-scenes footage and candid-cast interviews, promises to be a nostalgic trip for fans. 

In the trailer, Watson says, “When things get really dark, and times are really hard, there’s something about Harry Potter that makes life richer.”