Acing the beloved character of Hermione who is endeared for her bossy streak and all-encompassing knowledge, Emma Watson rose to fame as a 9-year old tween when she was chosen to play the only-female protagonist in ‘Harry Potter’. Just like her signature character, she is an avid bookworm in real life, an advocator of human rights, especially equal rights for women and is also an educationist and a climate change activist. With a successful career spanning over 20 years by now, Emma Watson has lived under the glimmering lights of child stardom and learned to use her power and privilege for doing good. Here we bring you Emma Watson’s journey from becoming Hermione to a role model raising key issues of literacy, ethical fashion, feminism, climate change and more!
“I like books that aren’t just lovely but that have memories in themselves. Just like playing a song, picking up a book again that has memories can take you back to another place or another time.”
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Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on April 15, 1990, in Paris to Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both English lawyers. As a kid, Emma was a brilliant student and more inclined towards performing arts and theatre as well as sports. When she was just 5, her parents divorced and her mother moved back to Oxfordshire with Emma and her brother, Alex. Young Emma studied performing arts at the Stagecoach Theatre School at Oxford.
On her 30th birthday last year, Emma Watson shared this adorable picture of childhood in an Instagram post, quoting:
“Wow. 30! What an adventure that was…. You, out there – that have supported me – thank you. Thank you for all your kindness. Thanks for having my back.”
Becoming Hermione in Harry Potter
Having outperformed her classmates in a school drama, a headteacher recommended her to the casting agents for Harry Potter. for the best selling series, Harry Potter. It is said that Emma auditioned 8 times, beating all her seniors before landing the role of Hermoine Granger. Playing one of the most-loved and inspiring fictional characters, Emma became a renowned child actor in Hollywood and reached stardom at just a tender age of 9. But, she always focused on her academics even during the filming of Harry Potter.
In 2009, she enrolled herself at Brown University for studying literature and later at Oxford University’s Worcester College. Not letting fame affect her academics, Emma passed her GCSE exams scoring two A’s and eight A+’s. Watson appeared for all the 8 instalments of the Harry Potter film franchise, gaining numerous accolades for her performance.
“Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like, I promise.”
A Versatile Actress
“I have lived in a complete bubble. They found me and picked me for the part. And now I’m desperately trying to find my way through it.”
Watson confessed in 2011 that she wanted to find her way out of the shadow of ‘Hermione’ because the character became colossally synonymous with her. She selectively chose versatile roles after the Harry Potter franchise was concluded in 2011, and went to play inspiring characters like Sam in Stephen Chbosky’s ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, Ila in ‘Noah’, Belle in the ‘Beauty and The Beast’, Mae in Tom Hanks starrer ‘The Circle’ and Meg March in ‘The Little Women’. All these films gained critical acclaim and brought her many accolades for her versatile acting.
A Fierce Advocate of Human Rights, Literacy, Feminism & Environmental Issues
A true humanitarian, an educationist and a social activist, Watson actively participates in numerous charity endeavours and stays updated about the latest issues around the world from trans rights to #blacklivesmatter. In 2014, she became the UN Goodwill Ambassador to promote equal education around the world and dedicated herself to the HeForShe campaign for UN Women’s motto of gender equality.
Further, in order to combat pollution produced by the fashion industry, Emma joined hands with People Tree, a fair trade fashion brand to design eco – friendly clothing. In 2016 she started a feminist book club called “OurSharedShelf” which is available to her followers on Goodreads. She is also an active part of The Book Fairies, an organisation that leaves free books around the world for people to read and pass on to someone else!
She was also a part of the 400 signatories who signed a letter asking the UK government to let women take up ‘decision-making roles’ at the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 that was hosted in Glasgow.
Awards and Recognitions
Having been applauded for her spellbinding acting skills and bringing senstivity and strength to every role she takes up, Emma Watson has earned many awards throughout her career spanning over 20 years.
- Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a feature film, 2004
- Teen Choice Awards 2011, 2013, 2014
- San Diego Film Critics Society Awards for Best Ensemble Performance, 2012
- People Choice Awards USA, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, 2005, 2006.
- BAFTA, Artist of the Year Award,2014
Thus, Emma Watson is the true millennial role model we all need to empower ourselves about the world and raise our voice for women rights, equal education, environmental causes and more! Even though she has always been described as shy and sensitive, she remains fierce in voicing her opinions and using her privilege to help others! Want to read about more such inspiration women? Follow Leverage Edu‘s ‘Her Vision: 62 stories of inspiration‘ that we are highlighting this international women’s day and don’t forget to tell us about your favorite female role model in the comments!