She spent a decade of her life playing everyone’s favorite precocious witch, Hermione Granger, in Harry Potter. Now Emma Watson is taking on a wider range of roles, from a diverse array of characters in films of varying genres to getting involved in fashion and politics. She has even become one of the most influential people alive through her charity work. Recently she has joined the Disney team and helped Beauty and the Beast surpass $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
With no danger of being typecast in sight, Emma Watson has made a name for herself both within the Potterverse and outside it. Her fans range from wizard wannabes and muggles alike to fashion followers, starry-eyed men and women with crushes to young feminists looking up to a powerful role model.
For those fans and anyone else wondering, here are 15 Things Emma Watson Has Been Up To Since Harry Potter.
15. My Week With Marilyn
One of the films that Emma Watson has worked on since her Harry Potter days is My Week with Marilyn, a biographical drama directed by Simon Curtis. While Michelle Williams played the titular character, Watson plays Lucy, a wardrobe assistant in the film who is in love with filmmaker Colin Clark. Clark becomes infatuated with Monroe and breaks Lucy’s heart before Monroe breaks his. Yes, it’s every bit as confusing as it sounds, and Watson wasn’t even in the film long enough to garner a standout performance.
Rotten Tomatoes scores the movie at a solid 83% approval rating, but audiences felt more lukewarm about the film, averaging a 71% approval rate. Most agree that Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe saved an otherwise underwhelming movie due to the actress’s superior talents.
An interesting tidbit about this movie is that Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts, also plays Clark in My Week with Marilyn, making two cast members notable Wizarding characters from the Potterverse.
14. This Is The End
It’s not your usual Emma Watson movie, and it’s not like she’s even in it very long, but in the raunchy film This is the End, Watson plays herself in a world where a bunch of celebrities are trying to survive a sudden apocalyptic event.
This version of Emma has been living in the sewers and wants a clean place to survive the end of the world – she finds the fictionalized versions of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, etc. Then there’s some rapey jokes made about her feeling uncomfortable in a house filled with men during the end of the world and how the guys would never have considered it since that’s not a fear most men are conditioned to have.
Watson probably does have the best scene in the movie, though. When she overhears the men arguing about why none of them would rape her and that whoever brought up the idea in the first place is probably the most likely rapist (“He who smelt it dealt it!“) she grabs an axe, steals their water, and takes it back with her to the sewer.
13. Perks Of Being A Wallflower
One of the best young adult novels of the ’90s was the coming of age book called The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by American writer Stephen Chbosky. The movie was not particularly impressive, but it was Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes as an enjoyable, engaging film.
Watson took the role in stride in typical fashion, portraying the pixie-like character Sam, whom the main character Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, becomes enamored with. Watson, Lerman and Ezra Miller, who played Patrick in the movie, all shone in earnest performances.
Due to the sex and drugs in the film, it originally had an R-rating, but movie-makers realized that their target audience was, of course, teens, given that the novel is a YA story and modified it for selling purposes.
12. The Colony
In 2015, Emma Watson starred in the movie Colonia. Watson took on the role of Lena, a young German woman who joins a cult in order to save her boyfriend Daniel, played by Daniel Brühl. Daniel acts like he is disabled to escape the attention of the cult leaders, as no one had ever been able to leave the group before.
The interesting film combined genres, resulting in an historical romance thriller, but it did not score many great reviews, even though it was based on a true story. Audiences enjoyed it more than critics, giving the movie a 63% approval rating versus the low critics’ score of 28%.
11. Meditation And Yoga Certification
It may not be on the list of obvious opportunities for all celebrities, but Emma Watson has pursued her goals in health and wellness through obtaining certification in yoga and meditation.
When she was 23, Watson announced that she had become a certified yoga instructor, and that she hoped to do something a little different from acting for a while. The young woman said that yoga and meditation helped her achieve balance in her celebrity lifestyle and that she wanted to feel safe and at home in her body no matter where she lives.
Watson, who is also interested in Buddhism, says that she grew up in a pretty open home regarding faith and that she has always been interested in religion. She told Lion’s Roar that being interested and reading about Buddhism is not enough, and that it is important to really practice “for it to work.”
10. The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring, an R-rated Sofia Coppola drama that was released in 2013, was a satirical take on the actual Bling Ring of teens and young adults who stole from celebrities. The real Bling Ring robbed around 50 homes, most notably Paris Hilton’s; raking in around $3 million in cash and goods.
Watson’s character Nicki, along with her friends, sees Paris Hilton and Kirsten Dunst at a night club in the film and decide to rob the former celebrity after the encounter. Later they rob Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Megan Fox, and other celebrities. Watson has a big line at the end where she reveals that while in jail, she was close to Lindsay Lohan and now has a website based on the experience.
The film did okay, scoring a 60% positive rating from critics in general, but many critics felt as if it skimmed the surface of possibility, failing to really delve deep enough to make the picture a stellar one.
In 2015, Emma Watson starred in a mystery/thriller film called Regression. The movie was based around the premise of a man who says that he abused his teen daughter (played by Watson) but couldn’t actually remember abusing her. A satanic cult and some weird sexual imagery is involved, but it all ends up being the fabrication of a teen who wished to escape her family.
Unfortunately, not only did the film achieve a mere 15% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but its largest claim to fame was a possible “nude scene” that had the Internet abuzz. Despite some big leads, including Watson, Ethan Hawke and David Thewlis, it was considered mediocre at best, with most critics claiming that the end of the movie really made it bomb. This wasn’t a big success for Watson, critically or commercially.
8. Goodreads Book Club
Most people may not realize that Emma Watson is the founder of a Goodreads Book Club, but doesn’t it make perfect sense? Between starring as Hermione, the cleverest witch of her age, and attending the prestigious Brown university, Watson is a perfect role model to lead a reading club.
Her feminist book club is known as “Our Shared Shelf” and has had over 37,000 members. She explained that “as part of my work with UN Women, I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on.” Even Gloria Steinem was involved, tweeting about the project and how she’d love to discuss the books together in person as well.
7. Lancome And Burberry Modeling
Many of Watson’s fans were perplexed to hear that the actress planned on focusing on her modeling career once she graduated from Hogwarts. No one doubted that she was savvy or beautiful enough to pull it off, but they had seen her as Hermione for so long they somehow expected her to become Prime Minister or a Nobel Peace Prize winner immediately.
Watson has proven that she’s just driven to experience lots of new things and try her hand at a wide variety of roles, and when she decided to model for Lancome and Burberry, she did well for herself. In 2011, she became “the face of Lancome,” following a line of older actresses who had worn the mantle previously. While attending university, she also modeled for Burberry alongside her brother Alex and British model Max Hurd.
6. Attended Brown University And Worcester College, Oxford
Many actors and actresses write off college once they’ve achieved half as much success as Emma Watson, but she was determined to finish college no matter what the Harry Potter franchise brought her. She attended Brown University, a private Ivy League school, but she didn’t stray far from acting. While there, she worked in a student theater production workshop of Three Sisters.
During Watson’s junior year, she studied abroad at Oxford college. She also took a year longer to graduate than normal since she did have to film during part of her studies. She graduated from Brown at age 24 in the spring of 2014, after beginning lessons in the fall of 2009. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.
5. People Tree Clothing Line
Back in 2009, Emma Watson launched a collection of organic, fair-trade clothing with the People Tree Clothing Line. The collection was aimed at the under-24 market and Watson was involved as a style guru, lending her tastes and ideas to the different pieces in the collection to create unique yet hip looks for young people interested in ethical clothing.
Of the project, Watson said, “I was excited by the idea of using fashion as a tool to alleviate poverty and knew it was something I could help make a difference with.” She assisted with color and fabric selection, she modeled the clothing, and she even traveled with the company CEO and founder, Safia Minney, to help promote the line.
Although it wasn’t a huge hit movie, Noah received much better reviews than several of Watson’s latest projects and included some pretty impressive special effects. In the biblical film, Emma Watson plays Ila, who is an adopted daughter of Noah, as well as his daughter-in-law once she marries Shem. Ila becomes pregnant and Noah vows to kill the baby if it is a girl.
Shem and Ila try to escape Noah’s plan by building a raft, but he destroys it before she gives birth to twin girls. It’s pretty disturbing as Watson pleads with him to not murder her babies until they are at least consoled since she doesn’t want them to die crying.
Director Darren Aronofsky had banned bottled water on the set and Watson found herself dehydrated more often than not, but at one point she even took ill after drinking some bad water. When she informed the director about how she felt, he told her to use it for the scene. She thought he had to be joking but he was serious. Many directors don’t seem to give their actors’ health very high priority.
3. The Circle
While this year’s biggest Emma Watson buzz has circulated mostly around Beauty and the Beast (more on that later), 2017 also saw the release of another Watson film, this one with seasoned actor Tom Hanks. In The Circle, Watson did not play alongside a lovable toy cowboy or sleepless widower on the West Coast, but a cunning innovator who was always be watching.
Watson stars as a young college grad working in Silicon Valley for Hanks’ company, which prides itself on knowing everything.
The Circle ended up scoring a lousy 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it wasn’t the cinematic version of Netflix’s Black Mirror as some people expected it to be. It was more of a loss for both Hanks and Watson, and about privacy violations more than anything else. Patton Oswalt and John Boyega also starred in the sci-fi drama/thriller.
2. Beauty And The Beast
The biggest buzz about Emma Watson this year has been her portrayal of Belle in the live action update of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which released on March 17, 2017. The live action re-imagining project features Belle as an inventor this time, while her father, who is played by Kevin Kline, creates music boxes. Dan Stevens stars as the Beast to Watson’s Beauty.
With a 71% score at Rotten Tomatoes and audiences everywhere adoring the film, it was as big as a hit one would imagine it to be. As the film is a remake, actors deliver some lines from the animated feature, much to the dismay of the done-with-remakes crowd and delight of the nostalgic Disney fans. Even the iconic ballroom scene is reminiscent of Disney’s golden age.
The film is filled with an all-star cast, from the vocal talents of Sir Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci to the roles of Gaston and LeFou, played by Luke Evans and Josh Gad respectively.
1. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador
Sure, she’s tried to free the House Elves as Hermione, but in the real World Emma Watson has done so much more. Appointed as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, Watson advocated for the UN HeForShe campaign to help promote gender equality, especially by getting men involved in the effort. As a part of the role, she gave a widely-heard and applauded speech at the World Economic Forum at Davos in honor of HeForShe.
The United Nations chose Watson for her many charitable works and service work, from visiting Bangladesh and Zambia to promoting organic, fair trade clothing. As a Goodwill Ambassador, she was also voted one of the Most Influential People of TIME magazine in 2015.
Some other awards that Watson has won include the Calvin Klein Emerging Star Award at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards in 2012, the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards in 2013 and the GQ Woman of the Year Award in 2013.
Do you think Emma Watson has moved past Harry Potter? Or do you still see her as Hermione? Let us know in the comments!
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