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‘I’m lucky social media didn't exist when I was filming Harry Potter’: Bonnie Wright on the pressures of fame


In the space of just 15 years, social media has changed the way teenagers interact: friendships are formed and cultivated online, while bullies can freely troll whoever they please behind a veil of digital privacy. And with everyone selectively sharing the best parts of their lives online, there has never been more pressure on teens to be perfect.

Now actress Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise, has spoken out about how glad she is that social media was largely inexistent when she was a teenager working on the films.

"I feel very lucky and pleased that when we were filming Harry Potter, social media didn’t really exist," she told The Telegraph.

"That was an incredibly lucky thing. I wasn’t a nine-year-old with a Twitter account. I’m thankful."

Wright with the Harry Potter cast at the 2009 premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'

Wright with the Harry Potter cast at the 2009 premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'

As well as avoiding the inevitable Twitter trolling that faces most young stars on social media today, Wright also largely escaped having to deal with constant scrutiny of her appearance. 

Read more: The greatest quotes from Harry Potter books for all moments in adult life

However the 25-year-old, from London, opened up about the struggles she did face growing up in the public eye.

"It’s not fun when you’re a teenager and experiencing those things. You’re growing into yourself and see photos of yourself like, 'Oh God!' Especially when you’re changing so much every year."

Red carpet throwback: Wright and Emma Watson in 2002

Red carpet throwback: Wright and Emma Watson in 2002

Nowadays, with social media so prevalent, Wright is careful to protect herself from any negativity online about her body image.

“Whether or not you’re on the internet or your own personal world, that’s a journey every woman goes through: that battle of not caring about your physical body.

"It’s not great having it across the internet, but it’s a question of how much you want to distance yourself from it - that’s what I’ve really learned.”

Working a fringe with the Harry Potter cast in 2007

Working a fringe with the Harry Potter cast in 2007

After the final Harry Potter film was released in 2011, Wright has continued to work in the industry, and has developed a passion for directing. Working on independent films and setting up her own company, BonBonLumiere, she has yet to face any of the discrimination that comes hand in hand for women working in the bigger, commercial film industry.

With international actresses including Emily Blunt and Sienna Miller speaking out on how they have been paid less than their male counterparts, there is an undeniable issue of sexism in the industry.

Read more: 20 fascinating facts about J.K. Rowling you probably never knew

But Wright hopes to see change happen. "The minute you leave the independent arena, most of these crazy statistics start to crop up," she said of the "terrifyingly small" number of female directors in film.

“I want to make sure we get to the point where your gender doesn’t have to come before your job title. It shouldn’t be a ‘female director’ – it should just be a ‘director’. It should transcend gender, race, time and language – all those things. My stories are coming from a female perspective but from the beginning of time men have also told stories with female leads.”

And on the issue of diversity, which is a huge problem in Hollywood today, Wright was thrilled to see Noma Dumezweni cast in the role of Hermione Granger for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child West End play.

"There’s always room for it to be more diversely cast," she said. "I think it was important and great they did so in the play.”

So would Wright herself ever consider reprising the role of Ginny in a future Harry Potter film? "With all things, never say never," she said. 

Watch this space, Potterheads.

Read the full interview at telegraph.co.uk.




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