Ever since a young age, Emma Watson yearned to be an actress, attending theater classes at the young age of 6. She got her wish, and as a result practically grew up on the set of Harry Potter. In fact, Watson’s name was synonymous with Hermione Granger, the nerdy and lovable character she played through the HP franchise.
From a young age, the role formed her identity inside and out. The final Harry Potter film premiered when Watson was just 21 years old, meaning that her entire childhood and teenager years were spent on the Hogwarts set. In 2009, Emma was dubbed Hollywood’s highest-paid female star. But what is she up to today? Here’s what the actress has been involved with ever since, both in life and career.
Dealing with the fans
Still, the obsessive “Potterhead” fan base has led to some terrifying stalker situations for this actress, so she doesn’t take fan photos any more. The series made her appreciate privacy more than ever. To this day, the star hates publicity and prefer to keep her personal life private. She feels so passionate about privacy that she starred in The Circle, a film about the dangers of broadcasting every moment of your life online.
Playing Hermione influenced her identity as a feminist
Hermione Granger was never afraid to take control and be a total girl boss. That’s why she became a self-proclaimed feminist at such a young age. This also inspired her to become a UN Women’s goodwill ambassador, advocating for the rights of women. In 2013, she gave a phenomenal speech on behalf of the HeForShe campaign, which worked towards encouraging males to be allies for women. In January 2016, Emma launched Our Shared Shelf, a feminist book club shedding light and educating people on gender inequality.
Harry Potter allowed her to star in other big roles
While the Harry Potter franchise was focused mainly on the character who the series is named after, we all agreed that Hermione deserved her own spotlight and was responsible for the massive box office success of the franchise. That all panned out when Watson was cast as a Disney princess in the 2017 live-action rendition of Beauty and the Beast. Here’s another unknown fact — she dropped out of La La Land to play Belle, and Emma Stone took the award-winning role instead.
Though she could book anything, HP’s success led her to focus on smaller films
Although she could easily star in any commercial blockbuster success if she wanted to, Emma Watson prioritizes working on smaller films that carry a personal meaning for her. Along with The Circle (which spoke to her passion about privacy) she also starred in successful movies like The Bling Ring, My Week With Marylin, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the controversial thriller Regression, about a detective who discovers a satanic cult. She also played Meg March in the 2019 version of Little Women.
She loves learning, and even attended Brown University
Some actors skip the whole education part, because when your net worth is millions, why bother? But books and education weren’t just a passion for Hermione Granger — Emma Watson shared the same values and from 2009-2014, was an undergraduate student at Brown University, a very selective Ivy League school. She majored in English literature, and educated with a bachelor’s degree in the topic. Even more impressive? While she was attending school, she filmed Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I and Part II, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and The Bling Ring.
Emma Watson became a style icon
Although she might not necessarily agree with this label, Watson was a style icon, and a short-haired one for other babes with pixie cuts who were having trouble finding their brand of femininity. In 2009, she starred in a smoldering campaign for Burberry as the brand’s newest celebrity face. In the same year, she announced she would work with People Tree, a brand that promoted fair trade. In 2011, she graced the cover of Vogue. Just a month later, Watson starred in an ad for Lancôme perfume.
Emma realized there’s more to life than fame
Even though it would be a dream come true for any little girl to walk a red carpet in designer clothes with the spotlight on her, Emma Watson said that these endless red carpet premieres focused on appearance felt like an out-of-body experience where she wasn’t really herself. And while she told the Mirror that Harry Potter would forever be a part of her and she wouldn’t change her history with it, today she focused on a more whole (and normal) life instead of being reduced to a tabloid topic.