Emma Watson

August 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Movie World Stars

Early life

Emma Watson was born in Paris, the daughter of British lawyers Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. Watson has one French grandmother, and lived in Paris until the age of five. Later, following her parents’ divorce, she moved with her mother and younger brother, Alex, to Oxfordshire. From the age of six, Watson wanted to become an actress, and for a number of years she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing and acting. By the age of ten, she had performed in various Stagecoach productions and school plays, including Arthur: The Young Years and The Happy Prince, but she had never acted professionally before the Harry Potter series. “I had no idea of the scale of the film series,” she stated in a 2007 interview with Parade; “if I had I would have been completely overwhelmed.”


Harry Potter

In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (released as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States), the film adaptation of British author J. K. Rowling’s bestselling novel. Of importance to the casting directors were the lead role of Harry Potter and the supporting roles of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friends. Casting agents found Watson through her Oxford theatre teacher, and producers were impressed by her confidence. After eight auditions, producer David Heyman told Watson and fellow applicants Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint that they had been cast for the roles of Hermione, Harry and Ron, respectively. Rowling supported Watson from her first screen test.

The release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 was Watson’s debut screen performance. The film broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Critics praised the performances of the three leads, often singling out Watson for particular acclaim; The Daily Telegraph called her performance “admirable”, and IGN said she “stole the show”. Watson was nominated for five awards for her performance in Philosopher’s Stone, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress.

A year later, Watson again starred as Hermione in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second installment of the series. Although the film received mixed reviews, reviewers were positive about the lead actors’ performances. The Los Angeles Times said Watson and her peers had matured between films, while The Times criticised director Chris Columbus for “under-employing” Watson’s hugely popular character. Watson received an Otto Award from the German magazine Bravo for her performance.

In 2004, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released. Watson was appreciative of the more assertive role Hermione played, calling her character “charismatic” and “a fantastic role to play”. Although critics panned Radcliffe’s performance, labelling him “wooden”, they praised Watson; The New York Times lauded her performance, saying “Luckily Mr. Radcliffe’s blandness is offset by Ms. Watson’s spiky impatience. Harry may show off his expanding wizardly skills … but Hermione … earns the loudest applause with a decidedly unmagical punch to Draco Malfoy’s deserving nose.” Although Prisoner of Azkaban remains the lowest-grossing Harry Potter film as of April 2009, Watson’s personal performance won her two Otto Awards and the Child Performance of the Year award from Total Film.

With Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), both Watson and the Harry Potter film series reached new milestones. The film set records for a Harry Potter opening weekend, a non-May opening weekend in the US, and an opening weekend in the UK. Critics praised the increasing maturity of Watson and her teenage co-stars; the New York Times called her performance “touchingly earnest”. For Watson, much of the humour of the film sprang from the tension among the three lead characters as they matured. She said, “I loved all the arguing. … I think it’s much more realistic that they would argue and that there would be problems.” Nominated for three awards for Goblet of Fire, Watson won a bronze Otto Award. Later that year, Watson became the youngest person to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue, an appearance she reprised in August 2009. In 2006, Watson played Hermione in The Queen’s Handbag, a special mini-episode of Harry Potter in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday.

Watson signing autographs for fans outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 2007

The fifth film in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was released in 2007. A huge financial success, the film set a record worldwide opening-weekend gross of $332.7 million. Watson won the inaugural National Movie Award for Best Female Performance. As the fame of the actress and the series continued, Watson and fellow Harry Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint left imprints of their hands, feet and wands in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood on 9 July 2007.

Despite the success of Order of the Phoenix, the future of the Harry Potter franchise became surrounded in doubt, as all three lead actors were hesitant to sign on to continue their roles for the final two episodes. Radcliffe eventually signed for the final films on 2 March 2007, but Watson was considerably more hesitant. She explained that the decision was significant, as the films represented a further four-year commitment to the role, but eventually conceded that she “could never let [the role of] Hermione go”, signing for the role on 23 March 2007. In return for committing to the final films, Watson’s pay was doubled to 2 million per film; she concluded that “in the end, the pluses outweighed the minuses”. Principal photography for the sixth film began in late 2007, with Watson’s part being filmed from 18 December to 17 May 2008.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiered on 15 July 2009, having been controversially delayed from November 2008. With the lead actors now in their late teens, critics were increasingly willing to review them on the same level as the rest of the film’s all-star cast, which the Los Angeles Times described as “a comprehensive guide to contemporary UK acting”. The Washington Post felt Watson to have given “[her] most charming performance to date”, while The Daily Telegraph described the lead actors as “newly-liberated and energized, eager to give all they have to what left of the series”.

Watson’s filming for the final installment of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, began on 18 February 2009. The film, divided into two parts filmed back to back for financial and scripting reasons, is scheduled for release in November 2010 and July 2011.

Other acting work

Watson’s first non-Potter role was the 2007 BBC film Ballet Shoes, an adaptation of the novel of the same title by Noel Streatfeild. The film’s director Sandra Goldbacher commented that Watson was “perfect” for the starring role of aspiring actress Pauline Fossil: “She has a piercing, delicate aura that makes you want to gaze and gaze at her.” Ballet Shoes was broadcast in the UK on Boxing Day 2007 to an audience of 5.7 million viewers, despite generally poor reviews.

Watson also lent her voice to the role of Princess Pea in the animated film The Tale of Despereaux, a children’s comedy starring Matthew Broderick. The Tale of Despereaux was released in December 2008 and grossed $87 million worldwide.

In April 2008, Watson was widely rumoured to have been cast as “Betsy” Bonaparte in an upcoming film titled Napoleon and Betsy, but her official website denied that any commitment had been made and the film failed to materialize. Watson has chosen to focus on her education rather than pursuing other film or television roles.

Fashion and modelling

As she has grown older, Watson has become something of a fashion devotee, saying that she sees fashion as very similar to art, which she studied in school. In September 2008, she told a blogger, “I’ve been focusing on art a lot, and fashion’s a great extension of that.”

In 2008, the British press reported that Watson was to replace Keira Knightley as the face of the fashion house Chanel, but this was flatly denied by both parties. In June 2009, following several months of rumours, Watson confirmed that she would be partnering Burberry as the face of their new campaign; she received an estimated six-figure fee for modelling Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. She later appeared in Burberry’s 2010 Spring/Summer campaign alongside her brother Alex, musicians George Craig and Matt Gilmour, and Max Hurd.

In September 2009, Watson announced her involvement with People Tree, a Fair Trade fashion brand. Watson says she has been working closely with People Tree to create a spring line of clothing, due to be released at the end of February 2010. The line will feature styles inspired by southern France and the City of London. Later, The Times released a short article on Watson’s progress with the collection. The range was highly publicized, appearing in subsequent tabloids such as You magazine, Heat Magazine, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and People. Watson admitted that her competition was minimal. She also stated, “I think young people like me are becoming increasingly aware of the humanitarian issues surrounding fast fashion and want to make good choices but there aren’t many options out there.”

Personal life

Watson at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Watson’s extended family has grown as her divorced parents each have new partners. Her father has a son, Toby, and identical twin girls, Nina and Lucy. Her mother’s partner has two sons (Watson’s stepbrothers), who “regularly stay with her”. Watson’s full brother, Alexander, has appeared as an extra in two Harry Potter films, and her half-sisters were cast as the young Pauline Fossil in the BBC’s Ballet Shoes adaptation.

After moving to Oxford with her mother and brother, Watson attended The Dragon School, an independent preparatory school, until June 2003 and then moved to Headington School, an independent school for girls, also in Oxford. While on film sets, Watson and her peers were tutored for up to five hours a day; despite the focus on filming she maintained high academic standards. In June 2006, Watson took GCSE examinations in 10 subjects, achieving eight A* and two A grades; she was a target of friendly ridicule on the Harry Potter set because of her straight-A exam results. She received A grades in her 2008 A level examinations in English Literature, Geography and Art, and in her 2007 AS (advanced subsidiary) level in History of Art.

After leaving school, Watson took a gap year to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows beginning in February 2009, but said she “definitely want[ed] to go to university”. Despite numerous contradictory news stories, some from highly-reputable sources, claiming that she would “definitely” attend Trinity College, Cambridge, Columbia University, Brown University or Yale University, Watson was reluctant to commit publicly to any one institution, saying that she would announce her decision first on her official website. In interviews with Jonathan Ross and David Letterman in July 2009, she confirmed that she was planning to study liberal arts in the United States, saying that having missed so much school as a child for filming the “broad curriculum” of American higher education appealed to her more than British universities, “where you have to just choose one thing to study for three years”. In July 2009, after a second storm of rumour, The Providence Journal reported that Watson had “grudgingly admitted” that she had chosen Brown University, located in Providence, Rhode Island. Watson defended her attempts to avoid announcing her choice of university accidentally slipped by Daniel Radcliffe and producer David Heyman, during interviews publicising the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and finally confirmed in September 2009 after the university’s academic year had started saying that she “want[ed] to be normal. … I want to do it properly, like everyone else. As long as I don walk in and see … Harry Potter posters everywhere, Il be fine.”

Watson’s work in the Harry Potter series has earned her more than 10 million, and she has acknowledged she will never have to work for money  in March 2009 she was ranked 6th on the Forbes list of “Most Valuable Young Stars” and in February 2010 was named as Hollywood’s highest paid female star, having earned an estimated 19 million in 2009. However, she has declined to leave school to become a full-time actress, saying “People can understand why I don want to … but school life keeps me in touch with my friends. It keeps me in touch with reality.” She has been positive about working as a child actress, saying her parents and colleagues helped make her experience a positive one. Watson enjoys a close friendship with her fellow Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, describing them as a “unique support system” for the stresses of film work, and saying that, after working with them for the ten years of the film series, “they really are like my siblings”.

Watson lists her interests as dancing, singing, field hockey, tennis, art and fly fishing, and she donates to WTT (Wild Trout Trust). She describes herself as “a bit of a feminist”, and admires fellow actors Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts.







Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Hermione Granger

Released as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US and India

Nominated for Best Performance by a Young Actor Saturn Award

Nominated for Best Debut at Empire Awards

Nominated for Best Youth Performance PFCS Award

Won Best Performance in a Feature Film Leading Young Actress Young Artist Award


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Nominated for Best Youth Performance PFCS Award


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Nominated for Best Young Actress Critics Choice Award


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Nominated for Best Young Actress Critics Choice Award

Nominated for Best On-screen Actress MTV Movie Award


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Nominated for Best Actress at Empire Awards

Won Best Performance by a Female National Movie Award

Ballet Shoes

Pauline Fossil

Television film shown on BBC One


The Tale of Despereaux

Princess Pea

Voice part


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Hermione Granger

15 July 2009 (UK, US, AUS)

Nominated for Best Actress Scream Award


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Release Date USA and UK 19 November 2010


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II









Young Artist Awards

Best Performance in a Feature Film  Leading Young Actress

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films

Saturn Award



Empire Award


American Moviegoer Awards

Outstanding Supporting Actress


Young Artist Awards

Best Ensemble in Feature Film



Otto Awards

Best Female Film Star (Silver)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets



Otto Awards

Best Female Film Star (Silver)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Total Film

Child Performance of the Year


Broadcast Film Critics Association

Best Young Actress



Otto Awards

Best Female Film Star (Gold)


Broadcast Film Critics Association

Best Young Actress

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



Otto Awards

Best Female Film Star (Bronze)


MTV Movie Awards

Best On-Screen Team



ITV National Film Awards

Best Female Performance

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


UK Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

Best Movie Actress



UK Sony Ericsson Empire Awards

Best Actress


Constellation Award

Best Female Performance


Otto Awards

Best Female Film Star (Gold)


SyFy Genre Awards

Best Actress


Glamour Awards

Best UK TV Actress

Ballet Shoes



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^ a b http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com

^ http://www.peopletreeyouth.co.uk/

^ http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article6985147.ece

^ a b c Watson, Emma (24 September 2007). “Emma’s sisters in Ballet Shoes”. Emma Watson’s official website. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com/#news/show/191. Retrieved 30 September 2007. 

^ a b c Gordon, Jane (13 August 2007). “Touched by magic: Harry Potter’s Hermione”. http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/you/article-466631/Touched-magic-Harry-Potters-Hermione.html. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 

^ Muir, Kate (15 May 2004). “Cast Interviews”. London: The Times. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article423860.ece. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 

^ “Pupils “sitting too many GCSEs””. BBC News. 24 August 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5280906.stm. Retrieved 27 May 2007. 

^ a b Tibbetts, Graham (14 August 2008). “A-levels: Harry Potter actress Emma Watson gets straight As”. The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/article2559694.ece. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 

^ “Emma’s A/S Results”. Emma Watson’s Official Website. 17 August 2007. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com/#news/show/144. Retrieved 18 August 2007. 

^ Walker, Tim (22 January 2009). “Emma Watson chooses Cambridge rather than America”. The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/4317547/Emma-Watson-chooses-Cambridge-rather-than-America.html. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 

^ Nocera, Kate (29 June 2009). “Life after ‘Harry Potter’: Emma Watson is heading to Columbia University in the fall”. NYDailyNews. http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/06/29/2009-06-29_life_after_harry_potter_emma_watson_sets_her_sights_and_.html#ixzz0KMSPFb1a&D. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 

^ Smith, Lizzie (29 June 2009). “‘I’m hoping to fade into the background,’ says cover girl Emma Watson on life after Harry Potter”. Daily Mail UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1196203/Emma-Watson-life-Harry-Potter-Im-hoping-fade-background.html. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 

^ http://www.celebla.com/2009/07/01/emma-watson-life-will-be-over-after-potter/

^ “University ‘nerd’ Emma Watson”. The Boston Globe. 25 April 2009. http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2009/04/25/university_nerd_emma_watson/. Retrieved 2 May 2009. 

^ Watson, Emma (15 April 2009). “19th Birthday!”. Emma Watson’s official website. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com/#ems/show/1879. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 

^ Wootten, Dan (11 April 2009). “Potter’s girl leaves Hogwarts: Brainy Harry Potter star Emma Watson is flying off-to uni”. News of the World. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/showbiz/xs/260958/BRAINY-Harry-Potter-star-EMMA-WATSON-is-flying-offmdashto-uni.html. 

^ Ford, James (14 July 2009). “Catching up with Emma Watson”. Paste. http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2009/07/catching-up-with-emma-watson.html. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 

^ a b “Emma Watson, of Potter fame, heading for Brown”. The Providence Journal. 7 July 2009. http://www.projo.com/lifebeat/content/lb-people_column0707_07-07-09_75EV50A_v13.2784f2f.html. 

^ Coyle, Jake (12 July 2009). “Harry Potter cast reflects on childhood at Hogwarts”. Chicago Sun-Times. http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/movies/1661033,harry-potter-daniel-radcliffe-grow-up-071209.article. 

^ McLean, Craig (4 July 2009). “Dan the man”. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/jul/04/daniel-radcliffe-harry-potter-jk-rowling. 

^ Watson, Emma (8 September 2009). “Hi everyone”. Emma Watson’s official website. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com/#news/show/410. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 

^ Burman, John (10 March 2009). “In Pictures: Hollywood’s Most Valuable Young Stars”. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/10/teen-star-currency-business-media-forbes-star-currency_slide_7.html?thisSpeed=30000. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 

^ “Harry Potter star Emma Watson is top-earning actress”. BBC News (BBC). 5 February 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8500494.stm. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 

^ Cawthorne, Alec (7 November 2007). “Rupert Grint and Emma Watson”. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/11/07/rupert_grint_emma_watson_2001_interview.shtml. Retrieved 3 August 2007. 

^ “Emma Watson loves to go fishing for a spell”. The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1582427/Emma-Watson-loves-to-go-fishing-for-a-spell.html. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 

^ “Emma Watson donates items for WTT auction”. Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator. http://www.hpana.com/news.19797.html. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 

^ “Emma Watson donates items for WTT auction again”. Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator. http://www.hpana.com/news.20403.html. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 

^ “The Wild Trout Trust  Internet & Postal Auction 2008” (PDF). Wild Trout Trust. http://www.wildtrout.org/images/PDFs/webauctioncat08.pdf. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 

^ Watson, Emma. “emma-faq”. Emma Watson’s Official Website. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com/#emma/facts/. Retrieved 3 August 2007. 

^ “2002 Saturn Awards”. IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Academy_of_Science_Fiction_Fantasy_And_Horror_Films_USA/2002. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 

^ “2002 Empire Awards”. IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Empire_Awards_UK/2002. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 

^ “American Moviegoer Award nominations”. Time Warner. http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,669203,00.html. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 

^ “Prisoner of Azkaban awards”. Broadcast Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20071229055804/http://www.bfca.org/individual_movie.asp?id=1386. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 

^ Akers, Shelley (20 October 2007). “Emma Watson Is Named Nickelodeon’s Best Actress”. People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20153408,00.html. Retrieved 24 October 2007. 

^ “Six Nominations for “Order of the Phoenix” at Empire Awards”. The Leaky Cauldron. 3 February 2008. http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2008/2/4/six-nominations-for-order-of-the-phoenix-at-empire-awards. Retrieved 3 February 2008. 

^ “Will Smith, Emma Watson & ransformers Win Canadian Film/TV Awards”. marketwire. July 2008. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/The-Constellation-Awards-878788.html. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 

^ “Dan and Emma won Otto Awards”. Bravo Germany. May 2008. http://www.bravo.de/online/render.php?render=065757&size=big. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 

^ “‘Battlestar Galactica’ Leads Way With 11 SyFy Genre Awards Nods”. SyFy Portal. August 2008. http://www.airlockalpha.com/news425320.html. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 

^ “Emma Watson Nominated for Glamour Awards”. The Leaky Cauldron. 11 February 2008. http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2008/2/11/emma-watson-nominated-for-otto-and-glamour-magazine-awards. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Emma Watson

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Emma Watson

Official website

Emma Watson at the Internet Movie Database

Emma Watson at TV.com

Guides: Harry Potter Actors at the BBC



Watson, Emma


Watson, Emma Charlotte Duerre


British actress




Paris, France



Categories: English film actors | English television actors | English voice actors | English child actors | Old Headingtonians | Old Dragons | People from Oxford | People from Paris | English people of French descent | British film actors | 1990 births | Living peopleHidden categories: Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters | Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected biographies of living people | Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages | Featured articles

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