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Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is a Britishmarker actress who rose to prominence playing Hermione Granger, one of three starring roles in the Harry Potter film series. Watson was cast as Hermione at the age of nine, having previously only acted in school plays. From 2001 to 2009, she starred in six Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint; she will return for the final two installments: the two parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Watson's work on the Harry Potter series has earned her several awards and more than £ .

In 2007, Watson announced her involvement in two non-Harry Potter productions: the television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and an animated film, The Tale of Despereaux. Ballet Shoes was broadcast on 26 December 2007 to an audience of 5.2 million, and The Tale of Despereaux, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo, was released in 2008 and grossed over US $70 million in worldwide sales.

Early life

Emma Watson was born in Parismarker, the daughter of British lawyers Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. Watson has one French grandmother, and lived in Paris until the age of five. She later moved with her mother and younger brother, Alex, to Oxfordshire, following her parents' divorce.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 age 10, 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."

Career

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.

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 Theatermarker 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’s 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 work

Watson's first non-Harry Potter role was in the 2007 television film Ballet Shoes. She said of the project, "I was all set to go back to school after finishing Harry Potter [and the Order of the Phoenix] but couldn't resist Ballet Shoes. I really loved it." A BBC adaptation of Noel Streatfeild's novel of the same name, the film stars Watson as aspiring actress Pauline Fossil, the eldest of three sisters around whom the story revolves. Director Sandra Goldbacher commented, "Emma was perfect for Pauline ... She has a piercing, delicate aura that makes you want to gaze and gaze at her." Ballet Shoes was broadcast on Boxing Day in the United Kingdom, to an estimated audience of 5.2 million (22% of the viewing total). The film received generally poor critical reviews, with The Times describing it as "progress[ing] with little emotional investment, or magic, or dramatic momentum". However, the performances of its cast were generally praised; The Daily Telegraph wrote that the film "was certainly well done, not least because it confirmed how good child actors are these days".

Watson also took a role in the animated film The Tale of Despereaux, a children's comedy starring Matthew Broderick and Tracey Ullman which was released in December 2008. She voiced the character of Princess Pea in the film.

Watson's other media work has been limited, taking second place to the completion of higher education. Despite a storm of rumour in April 2008, linking her to the role of 'Betsy' Bonaparte in an anticipated film Napoleon and Betsy, the production never materialised. Equally, suggestions that she was to replace Keira Knightley as the face of the fashion house Chanel were flatly denied by both parties, despite being presented as a fait accompli by a major British newspaper. In April 2009, rumours emerged of a similar deal with Burberry; the contract was eventually confirmed on 9 June 2009; Watson modelling Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2009 collection for an estimated six-figure fee. As she has grown older, Watson has become something of a budding 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." On 16 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 in February of 2010). The line will feature styles inspired by Southern France and the City of London.

Personal life

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 Schoolmarker, an independent preparatory school, until June 2003 and then moved to Headington Schoolmarker, 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, Cambridgemarker, Columbia University, Brown Universitymarker or Yale Universitymarker, Watson was reluctant to publicly commit 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 Statesmarker, 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 Universitymarker, located in Providencemarker, Rhode Islandmarker. 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’t walk in and see Harry Potter posters everywhere, I’ll 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". However, she has declined to leave school to become a full-time actress, saying "People can’t understand why I don’t 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.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
2001 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
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Nominated for Best Youth Performance PFCS Award
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Nominated for a Best Young Actress Critics Choice Award
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nominated for a Best Young Actress Critics Choice Award

Nominated for Best on Screen Actress MTV Movie Award
2007 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
2008 The Tale of Despereaux Princess Pea Voice part
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Hermione Granger 15 July 2009 (UK, US, AUS)Won Best Actress Scream Award
2010 Filming
2011 Pre-production


Awards

Year Organisation Award Film Result
2002 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 Empire Award
American Moviegoer Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress
Young Artist Awards Best Ensemble in Feature Film
2003 Otto Awards Best Female Film Star (Silver) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2004 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
2005 Otto Awards Best Female Film Star (Gold)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Young Actress Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2006 Otto Awards Best Female Film Star (Bronze)
MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Team
2007 ITV National Film Awards Best Female Performance Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
UK Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Best Movie Actress
2008 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


References

  1. Harry Potter drama school to float - Telegraph
  2. http://www.emmawatsonofficial.com
  3. http://www.celebla.com/2009/07/01/emma-watson-life-will-be-over-after-potter/


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