Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born April 15, 1990 in Paris, France) is a British actress.
She's best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. Her most notable post-Potter roles have been Samantha "Sam" Button in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Nicki in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, Ila in Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic Noah, Belle in Beauty and the Beast (the Disney live-action remake), and Meg March in Greta Gerwig's Little Women.
As of July 2014, she is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, campaigning for women's rights and gender equality.
Since Little Women in 2019, she has taken a break from acting, focusing instead on her modeling and activism careers. However, she has said that she'll return to acting when the right project comes along.
No relation to Emily Watson.
- Harry Potter series (2001–2011) as Hermione Granger:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part One (2010)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part Two (2011)
- Ballet Shoes (2007) as Pauline Fossil
- The Tale of Despereaux (2008) as Princess Pea
- My Week with Marilyn (2011) as Lucy
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) as Sam
- This Is the End (2013) as herself
- The Bling Ring (2013) as Nicki Moore
- Noah (2014) as Ila
- The Colony (2016) as Lena
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) as Belle
- The Circle (2017) as Mae Holland
- Little Women (2019) as Meg March
Tropes that apply to Watson include:
- Ability over Appearance: JK Rowling said it was very good that she spoke to Emma over the phone before meeting her in person — as she realised Emma was perfect for Hermione when she spoke for a whole minute without taking a breath. Then when Rowling met Watson, she realised Watson was much prettier than how she had imagined Hermione.
- Actor-Shared Background: The Beauty & the Beast remake gives Belle a backstory of being born in Paris. Emma too was born in Paris but her family moved back to England when she was a child (her parents are lawyers and were working in Paris at the time of her birth).
- Adam Westing: In This Is the End she plays a Cluster F-Bomb version of herself who robs the protagonists.
- Advertised Extra: She's barely featured in My Week with Marilyn and abruptly disappears during the second act. She was given a lot of press for starring in it.
- Baby Name Trend Starter: Even the popularity of the Harry Potter films didn't suffice to put the girls' name Hermione into the top thousand female baby names, let alone the top ten (unlike, say, the less popular single film Splash with Madison). However, Harry Potter no doubt caused Emma's own name (already rising in popularity) to bump from 13th (in 2001) to 4th (in 2002) — a jump much bigger than the ranks suggest. Emma has been in the top three girls' names every year since then.
- Best Known for the Fanservice:
- It's widely agreed that The Bling Ring would have been almost forgotten if it weren't for Emma in skimpy outfits or her famous seductive tongue roll.
- Ballet Shoes caused fans to go nuts for a brief scene of her in a bath with Yasmin Paige. The scene lasts a minute and they're only shown from the shoulders up.
- As soon as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, Moral Guardians reacted with shock at the naked images of Harry and Hermione kissing.
- Character Tics:
- Her infamous "eyebrow acting".
- Mouthing her costars' lines.
- Contractual Purity: Watson has said she'd be willing to do nudity in films, presumably to avoid this trope. She's flirted with darker roles — for example Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower was molested at a young age, and Nicki in The Bling Ring is a Ms. Fanservice. She also joked that she's received about twenty Bibles as gifts from fans."People think I need to be guided."
- Corpsing: She was the subject of a featurette for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows based around how often she lost it while filming scenes at Xenophilius's house. Rhys Ifans even nicknamed her 'giggles' and she had to be given a 'red card' (meaning sent off set to calm down). During the Return to Hogwarts featurette filmed for HBO Max, she admits to corpsing alongside Rupert Grint when it came down to filming a kissing scene between Hermione and Ron if only because both found it hilariously awkward to film a romantic moment with someone who is essentially a surrogate sibling, which was egged on even more by Daniel Radcliffe's incessant Trolling off-screen.
- Covered in Gunge: She and Rupert Grint had this happen to them (she got it worse) live on American TV.
- Dawson Casting: She was initially the same age as Hermione but was twenty when the last film was made (and Hermione is only eighteen). It started out inverted, with Emma being ten and playing Hermione who turned twelve a couple weeks after the start of the first school year. Emma is also the youngest of the Golden trio actors, while Hermione is the oldest member of the Golden trio. She continued to play teens in her early twenties too.
- Dyeing for Your Art: She became blonde to play Pauline in Ballet Shoes, who is desirable because of her beautiful blonde hair.
- Enforced Method Acting: When filming "Be Our Guest" in Beauty and the Beast (2017), Emma was so bored at having to sit in a chair for the whole scene that the crew had to keep telling her jokes to get her to laugh — inverting her Corpsing entry.
- Fake American: In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, The Circle (2017) and Little Women (2019).
- I Am Not Spock: She's gone to great lengths to avoid this since Harry Potter ended, cutting her hair short and pursuing very different roles — and not making it a secret that she'd be willing to do nudity. She has however said that she is very like Hermione in some ways.
- Playing Against Type:
- She uses the F-word several times in This Is the End. Bonus points for being called Hermione after robbing a group of men, in the quote at the top of the page.
- The Bling Ring shows her as a vapid ditz who robs celebrity houses, smokes weed and gets shamelessly drunk.
- A milder version in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Little Women (2019), where Watson plays the most traditionally-minded sister, Meg, rather than the more obviously Hermione-like Jo.
- Real Life Writes the Hairstyle:
- She had to dye her hair blonde for Ballet Shoes - and Hermione therefore has blonde hair in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- As noted above, she cut her hair into a pixie to celebrate finishing with the Harry Potter franchise, which is why she has short hair as Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
- The sequence at the end of Chamber of Secrets when Hermione hugs Harry but not Ron came about because Emma was too embarrassed to hug both boys in front of everyone. Additionally the hug with Harry had to be slowed down in editing because Emma kept breaking it too quickly.
- In Prisoner of Azkaban, the scene in the book where Hermione slaps Draco Malfoy is changed to her punching him, because Emma accidentally slapped Tom Felton full force during rehearsals. Feeling terrible about it, it was changed to a punch (which is easier to fake safely).
- Reality Subtext: My Week with Marilyn was her first R-rated film, which is oddly paralleled in the scene where Colin and Lucy nearly do it — but get interrupted by her parents.
- Those Two Actors:
- She starred alongside Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon) in most of the Harry Potter movies and Ballet Shoes. The latter also featured fellow Potter cast member Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey) — who is only in three out of the eight films.
- She played Logan Lerman's love interest in The Perks of Being A Wallflower and his sister-in-law in Noah.
- Wag the Director: She felt Belle of Beauty and the Beast (2017) wouldn't wear a corset as part of her costume, despite the film trying to be slightly more historically accurate in terms of wardrobe.
- What Could Have Been:
- The first choice for Ila in Noah was Dakota Fanning. When she couldn't fit it into her schedule, Emma was cast instead.
- She briefly considered leaving Harry Potter after the fifth film, but soon realized she couldn't bear to see anyone else play Hermione. Ironically enough the reason she considered leaving was that she was finding it hard to keep up with her school work. She later joked at what a Hermione-ish thing to do it was.
- She was tapped to play Beauty in a Guillermo del Toro version of Beauty and the Beast. The project fell through.
- She turned down the role of Mia in La La Land in order to star in Beauty and the Beast (2017). Emma Stone got the part after Damien Chazelle decided to make the protagonists a little older. Little Women (2019) reverses this, with Watson taking the role of Meg March after Stone dropped out.