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J.K. Rowling swears she chose not to be part of Harry Potter anniversary special

"I was asked to be on that, and I decided I didn't want to do it," said the author in a new interview with Graham Norton

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Author J.K. Rowling
Author J.K. Rowling
Photo: Stuart C. Wilson (Getty Images)

Earlier this year, the magical world of wands and wizards came back in part with HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts, reuniting much of the original cast as they joined fans in taking a lovely jaunt down memory lane of the beloved film series.

While seeing the trio of Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe together again would make any Potterhead content, there was surprise at how Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was included throughout the special. Showing up only via old interview clips, many viewers believed that her non-appearance appearance was due to Rowling’s controversial anti-transgender remarks made online. Now, the author is clearing the air on why she didn’t join the cast in the reunion interviews.

In a radio interview with Irish entertainer Graham Norton on Saturday, Rowling shared that she turned down the invitation to be in the special, as she felt that the reunion was less focused on the books she wrote and more on the films.

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“I was asked to be on that, and I decided I didn’t want to do it,” said Rowling to Norton. “I thought it was about the films more than the books, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about.”

The writer added, “No one said ‘don’t come.’ I was asked to do it and I decided not to.”

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Eventually, Norton goes on to ask Rowling if she still keeps in touch with the young actors, bringing up the Hogwarts trio’s public condemnation of her transphobic statements.

“Yes, I do,” replied Rowling. “I mean, some more than others but that was always the case. You know, some I knew better than others.”

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Seemingly related to her status as an increasingly controversial figure online, Rowling also discussed her upcoming novel The Ink Black Heart, which has a plot involving a threatening so-called “fan” stalking a famous cartoonist, in her interview with Norton. Earlier this month, Rowling contacted the police over online threats made towards her following tweets she made in response to the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie.

“I try to behave online as I would like others to behave,” said the Harry Potter author in the interview. “I’ve never threatened anyone, obviously. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that.”