The Harry Potter author has been widely criticised in recent years for her controversial comments about transgender rights, initially stemming from a June 2020 tweet in which she called out the gender-inclusive term “people who menstruate”.
In a new interview with the Radio Times, Margolyes – who played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films – said that while she believed gender was a spectrum, Rowling was a “generous woman”.
“There is a spectrum and people can be anywhere along that,” she said. “There isn’t one answer to all these trans questions.
“But I think the vituperation that JK Rowling has received is misplaced. I don’t know her at all. I admire her as a human being. She’s a generous woman, she’s a brilliant writer.”
Margolyes said that if people were kinder to others, “a lot of the misery would disappear”, adding that she would be happy to mediate between JK Rowling and Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
“I would if anybody asked me,” she said.
Watson is among the Harry Potter actors to speak out in support of trans people, amid controversy over Rowling’s comments. In 2020, she tweeted: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”
Presenting an award at the Baftas last month, the actor appeared to make a dig at the author, saying that she was “here for all the witches”.
Rowling has repeatedly rejected the idea that she is “transphobic” and has said that she “knows and loves” trans people.