Entertainment Movies Why Emma Watson Nearly Quit 'Harry Potter' : 'The Fame Thing Had Finally Hit Home in a Big Way' During HBO Max's Harry Potter reunion special, Emma Watson opened up about her struggles with superstardom and how she almost exited the role of Hermione Granger By Kelsie Gibson Kelsie Gibson Twitter Kelsie Gibson is the SEO Editor of PEOPLE Digital. Since joining the brand in 2021, she has contributed to a number of different verticals, writing and editing SEO content ranging from relationship timelines to TV and movie explainers. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Kelsie worked at POPSUGAR as the Celebrity and Entertainment editor, where she wrote and edited content and conducted various interviews for online and video at press junkets, red carpets, and events such as Tribeca Film Festival. She was also formerly at Bustle, Tiger Beat, and Her Campus and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 29, 2021 02:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Everett It's hard to imagine the Harry Potter films without Hermione Granger, but Emma Watson says she had reached a point where she was considering leaving the role. During HBO Max's forthcoming Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special, director David Yates discussed how Watson, now 31, contemplated leaving the franchise around the time he signed on to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. "People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it," Tom Felton said about Watson's superstardom. Felton noted that while he had his "cronies" and Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint had each other to lean on during their rise to fame, Watson was "not only younger but she was by herself." "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?'" Daniel Radcliffe Once Wrote a Love Letter to Helena Bonham Carter: 'Wish I Had Been Born 10 Years Earlier' Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Watson even recalled rereading a diary entry from that period of her life where she felt especially lonely. "I think I was scared," Watson told Grint. "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.'" Like his costar, Grint admitted that he also had thoughts about leaving the franchise. "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," Watson added. Rupert Grint Is 'Quite Protective of' His Harry Potter Character: 'There's a Lot of Me in There' Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection Harry Potter: Where Is the Cast 20 Years Later? During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in November 2013, producer David Heyman revealed that Watson considered leaving the franchise to focus on school. "Emma [Watson], in particular, was quite academic and was very keen in [the] pursuit of schooling and was wrestling a little bit more than the others," Heyman said at the time. "So each time there was a negotiation, it was not about a financial [matter], it really was about, 'Do I want to be a part of this?' We had to be sensitive to her needs and how important school was to her. And you have to listen. In our position, you're not dictating, you're listening. At the same time, it's a tipping point, and it's working within a framework. I deeply respected her, encouraged her. She's very smart, always was, and fiercely intelligent.'" Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Ultimately, Watson continued on with the Harry Potter franchise and got her degree at the same time. She started at Brown University in 2009 and eventually graduated from the university with a bachelor's degree in English literature in May 2014. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts begins streaming on HBO Max on Jan. 1.