In the nearly six years since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the franchise's cast has branched out, taking on projects ranging from dark indies (Daniel Radcliffe) to blockbuster musicals (Emma Watson) to superhero TV shows (Tom Felton). But perhaps no one has been busier post-Potter than Bonnie Wright, who, since retiring the role of Ginny, has dipped her toes in the fields of directing, writing, modeling, producing, and more. And while she's still acting, too, her time playing the youngest Weasley sibling is quickly fading into the past.
"It’s given me the foundation of so much, and inspired me to work within this industry — it just opened up a world to me that I didn’t even know existed," Wright says of the Potter films, sitting down at Bustle's New York office on a recent day. "But at the same time, it’s not totally defining me, because I know there’s other stories I want to tell, and characters I want to inhabit."
Currently, Wright is busy promoting her short anthology series Phone Calls, which she directed and co-created alongside Martin Cohn. The duo premiered the series at the Tribeca Film Festival this April, and Wright says she's grateful that she has the support of so many Potter fans for this project and whatever else she chooses to do. "The beauty of Harry Potter is that it has such a positive impact on so many people’s loves. People aren’t trying to find a negative within it — they're pretty much, like 99.9 percent of the time, super excited and positive towards it and therefore are [also positive] as to what we’ve all gotten done in our next stages," the actor says. "I just feel really lucky that most people are genuinely really excited about what I’m doing and they want to be involved in any way."
Still, Wright isn't trying to stay connected to Potter forever. "Every year that goes by is further distance from that experience," she says. "In the same way like when you graduate high school — every year [further] than when you have graduated from it, the more and more you’re becoming yourself as an individual."
She knows that Potter fans will always associate her with Ginny, and she understands why; she herself is a fan of the character, and is protective over her storylines in the films. "Why I loved Ginny’s character in the books and why I loved Jo Rowling’s female characters is because they’re really cool, they’re ballsy, they speak up for themselves, they’re intelligent and fearless women, and that was always amazing to read of her characters and inhabit as Ginny," Wright says. "I would’ve loved for a million more scenes to be in that movie, probably selfishly... I wish there would’ve been more Quidditch scenes with her, like of her being that real warrior, Ginny-like character, which is the reason Harry falls in love with her."
Wright's love for the role and the series is clear, but so is her passion for the many other projects she's taken on since Potter's end, including Phone Calls. About the "very weird intimacy" that the titular method of communication causes between people, according to Cohn, the web series is just the latest directorial effort from Wright, whose debut film, Separate We Come, Separate We Go, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Being prolific is in her nature ("I genuinely am my best self when I’m really busy," she says), and she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Her best-known work may be years in the past, but Wright's moving into the future with nothing but confidence.