Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson
15 April 1990
|Alma mater||Brown University (BA)|
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is an English actress and activist. Known for her roles in both blockbusters and independent films, as well as for her women's rights work, she has received a selection of accolades, including a Young Artist Award and three MTV Movie Awards. Watson has been ranked among the world's highest-paid actresses by Forbes and Vanity Fair, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2015.
Watson attended the Dragon School and trained in acting at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. As a child, she rose to stardom after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, having previously acted only in school plays. Watson also starred in the 2007 television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and lent her voice to The Tale of Despereaux (2008). After the final Harry Potter film, she took on a supporting role in My Week with Marilyn (2011), before starring as Sam, a flirtatious, free-spirited student in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) to critical success. Further acclaim came from portraying Alexis Neiers in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring (2013) and the titular character's adoptive daughter in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic Noah. That same year, Watson was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, winning British Artist of the Year. She also starred as Belle in the live-action adaptation of the musical romantic fantasy Beauty and the Beast (2017), which ranks among the highest-grossing films of all time, and Meg March in Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age drama Little Women (2019).
From 2011 to 2014, Watson split her time between working on films and continuing her education, graduating from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in English literature in May 2014. That year, she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which advocates for gender equality. In 2018, she helped launch Time's Up UK as a founding member. Watson was appointed to a G7 advisory body for women's rights in 2019, consulting with leaders on foreign policy. Her modelling work has included campaigns for Burberry and Lancôme. She also lent her name to a clothing line for the sustainable brand People Tree. In 2020, she joined the board of directors of Kering, a luxury brand group, in her capacity as an advocate for sustainable fashion.
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on 15 April 1990 in Paris, to English lawyers Chris Watson and Jacqueline Luesby. Watson lived in Maisons-Laffitte near Paris until age five. Her parents divorced when she was young, and Watson moved to England to live with her mother in Oxfordshire while spending weekends at her father's house in London. Watson has said she speaks some French, though "not as well" as she used to. After moving to Oxford with her mother and brother, she attended the Dragon School, remaining there until 2003. From age six, she wanted to become an actress, and trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing, and acting.
By age ten, Watson had performed in Stagecoach productions and school plays including Arthur: The Young Years and The Happy Prince, but she had never acted professionally prior to the Harry Potter series. After the Dragon School, Watson moved on to Headington School, Oxford. While on film sets, she and her castmates were tutored for up to five hours a day. In June 2006, she took GCSE school examinations in ten subjects, achieving eight A* and two A grades. In May 2007, she took AS levels in English, Geography, Art, and History of Art. The following year, she dropped History of Art to pursue the three A levels, receiving an A grade in each subject.
Watson took a gap year after finishing secondary school, to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 & 2 beginning in February 2009, but asserted that she intended to continue her studies and later confirmed she had chosen Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In March 2011, after 18 months at the university, Watson announced she was deferring her course for "a semester or two", though she attended Worcester College, Oxford during the 2011–12 academic year as part of the Visiting Student Programme. In a 2014 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Watson said just before graduation that it took five years to finish her degree instead of four because, owing to her acting work, she "ended up taking two full semesters off". On 25 May 2014, she graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature.
In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the film adaptation of British author J. K. Rowling's best-selling novel. 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 in the roles of the school friends Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, 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 singled 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 reprised her role as Hermione in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second instalment of the series. Reviewers praised the lead actors' performances. The Los Angeles Times said Watson and her co-stars 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 "charismatic" and "a fantastic role to play". Critics lauded Watson's performance; A. O. Scott of The New York Times remarked: "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 proved to be the lowest-grossing Harry Potter film in the entire series, 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 and 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", and Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that "Watson's gutsy, confident performance nicely shows that inside and outside the world of magic there is a growing discrepancy between a teenage girl's status and her accelerating emotional and intellectual development." For Watson, much of the film's humour 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.
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 series, 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 to rise, Watson and her Harry Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint left imprints of their hands, feet and wands in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on 9 July 2007. That month, Watson's work on the Harry Potter series was said to have earned her more than £10 million, and she acknowledged she would never have to work for money again.
Prior to the release of Order of the Phoenix, the future of the Harry Potter series was in jeopardy, as all three lead actors were hesitant to sign on to continue their roles for the final instalments. Watson was considerably more ambivalent than her co-stars during renegotiations. 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.
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 to 5.7 million viewers, to mixed reviews. The following year, she voiced the character Princess Pea in the animation The Tale of Despereaux, a children's comedy starring Matthew Broderick, with Harry Potter co-star Robbie Coltrane also starring in the film. The Tale of Despereaux was released in December 2008 and grossed $87 million worldwide.
Principal photography for the sixth Harry Potter 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 delayed from November 2008. With the lead actors in their late teens, critics were increasingly willing to review them on the same level as the rest of the franchise's all-star cast, which the Los Angeles Times described as "a comprehensive guide to contemporary UK acting". The Washington Post felt Watson had given "[her] most charming performance to date", while The Daily Telegraph described the lead actors as "newly liberated and energised, eager to give all they have to what's left of the series".
Watson's filming for the final instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, began on 18 February 2009 and ended on 12 June 2010. For financial and scripting reasons, the original book was divided into two films which were shot consecutively. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was released in November 2010 while the second film was released in July 2011. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 became a commercial and critical success. The highest-grossing film in the franchise, it grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide and proved to be Watson's most commercially successful film to date.
Watson appeared in a music video for One Night Only, after meeting lead singer George Craig at the 2010 Winter/Summer Burberry advertising campaign. The video, "Say You Don't Want It", was screened on Channel 4 on 26 June 2010 and released on 16 August. In her first post-Harry Potter film, Watson appeared in My Week with Marilyn (2011) as Lucy, a wardrobe assistant who briefly dates protagonist Colin Clark, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne.
In May 2010, Watson was reported to be in talks to star in Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, based on the 1999 novel of the same name. Filming began in summer of 2011, and the film was released in September 2012. Watson starred opposite Logan Lerman as Sam, a high school senior who befriends a fellow student called Charlie (Lerman), and helps him through his freshman year. The film opened to favourable reviews; David Sexton of the Evening Standard opined that Watson's performance was "plausible and touching", while The Atlantic reviewer thought that Watson "sheds the memory of a decade playing Hermione in the Harry Potter series with an about-face as a flirtatious but insecure free spirit.
In 2013, Watson starred in the satirical crime film The Bling Ring. The Sofia Coppola-directed film is based on the real-life Bling Ring robberies, with Watson playing a fictionalised version of Alexis Neiers, a television personality who was one of seven teenagers involved in the robberies. While the film mostly received mixed reviews, critics gave almost unanimous praise for Watson's performance. Adam White of The Independent later stated that "She prove[d] remarkable.... Watson oozes casual disdain. Her sticky American vocal fry is clipped and monotone, as if she's swallowed a Kardashian for breakfast." Watson also had a supporting role in the apocalyptic comedy This Is the End (2013), in which she, Seth Rogen, James Franco and many others played "exaggerated versions of themselves" and Watson memorably dropped the "f-bomb". She said she could not pass up the opportunity to make her first comedy and "work with some of the best comedians [...] in the world right now".
In June 2012, Watson was confirmed for the role as Ila, Shem's wife, in Darren Aronofsky's Noah, which began filming the following month, and was released in March 2014. Watson referred to the role as "physically very demanding" given the usage of special effects and did extensive research on childbirth to effectively portray a scene in the film. The film, a box office success, received mixed reviews for its direction and casting; Vanity Fair wrote that "Watson anchors the film's rawest emotional scenes.... Sitting on an Icelandic beach with Russell Crowe, her hair wild and eyes burning, Watson is quiet but ferocious." In March 2013, it was reported that Watson was in negotiations to star as the title character in Kenneth Branagh's live-action Disney adaptation of Cinderella. Watson was offered the role, but turned it down because she did not connect with the character. The role ultimately went to Lily James.
Watson joined Judi Dench, Robert Downey Jr., Mike Leigh, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Mark Ruffalo as recipients of the 2014 Britannia Awards, presented on 30 October in Los Angeles. Watson was awarded British Artist of the Year and she dedicated the prize to Millie, her pet hamster who died as Watson was filming Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Watson starred in two 2015 releases, the thrillers Colonia, opposite Daniel Brühl and Michael Nyqvist; and Regression by Alejandro Amenábar, alongside Ethan Hawke and her Harry Potter co-star David Thewlis. Both of these films received generally negative reviews; The Daily Telegraph critic blamed Regression's script for her "pure dramatic cardboard" role. She also appeared in an episode of BBC's The Vicar of Dibley, in which she played Reverend Iris. In February 2016, Watson announced she was taking a year-long break from acting. She planned to spend the time on her "personal development" and her women's rights work.
Watson starred as Belle in the 2017 live-action Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast directed by Bill Condon, and starring opposite Dan Stevens as the Beast. She was given autonomy within Belle's portrayal; she re-characterised her as an assistant to her inventor father and incorporated bloomers and boots into her wardrobe. The film grossed over $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office and emerged as the second-highest-grossing film of 2017 and the 17th-highest-grossing film of all time. Her reported fee was $3 million upfront with profit participation, bringing her salary up to $15 million. The film garnered positive reviews; Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times thought her performance was "all pluck and spunk and sass and smarts and fierce independence as Belle". Watson later said "When I finished the film, it kind of felt like I had made that transition into being a woman on-screen".
In the same year, she starred opposite Tom Hanks in the film adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel The Circle as Mae Holland, who begins working at a powerful tech corporation and enters a perilous situation concerning surveillance and freedom. The film received negative reviews but was a moderate box office success. In 2019, Watson starred as Meg March in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women, co-starring with Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep. On the premise, Watson has stated "I think [Little Women] was good literary device to explain that there's not one way to be a feminist.... [Meg's] way of being a feminist is making the choice – because that's really, for me anyway, what feminism is about. Her choice is that she wants to be a full-time mother and wife." Forbes stated that "Watson has perhaps the most challenging [...] role, as the proverbial straight woman of the sisters who is put on the defensive when her dreams end up being the most conventional of the lot." The film was critically acclaimed and grossed over $218 million against its $40 million budget.
In 2020, Watson discussed her future career plans, stating: "Having been so public in making films and being so active on social [media] in my activism, I am curious to embrace a role where I work to amplify more voices, to continue to learn from those with different experiences", adding that her work would include "fewer red carpets and more conference meetings". In 2021, various reports surfaced stating that Watson was engaged or retiring. Watson and her representatives refuted these reports; she later labelled the speculation as clickbait and cited her relative public absence to continued social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Watson reunited with multiple cast members of the Harry Potter film series for an HBO Max special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
In 2005, Watson began her modelling career with a photo shoot for Teen Vogue, which made her the youngest person to cover the magazine. Three years later, the British press reported that Watson was to replace Keira Knightley as the face of Chanel, but this was denied by both parties. In June 2009, following several months of rumours, Watson confirmed she would be partnering with Burberry as the face of their Autumn/Winter 2009 campaign, for which she received an estimated six-figure fee. She also appeared in Burberry's 2010 Spring/Summer campaign alongside her brother Alex, musicians George Craig and Matt Gilmour, and model Max Hurd. In February 2011, Watson was awarded the Style Icon award from British Elle by Dame Vivienne Westwood. Watson continued her involvement in fashion advertising when she announced she had been chosen as the face of Lancôme in March 2011.
In September 2009, Watson announced her involvement with People Tree, a fair trade fashion brand. Watson worked as a creative adviser for the company to create a spring line of clothing, which was released in February 2010; the range featured styles inspired by southern France and London. The collection, described by The Times as "very clever" despite their "quiet hope that [she] would become tangled at the first hemp-woven hurdle", was widely publicised in magazines such as Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and People. Watson, who was not paid for the collaboration, admitted that competition for the range was minimal, but argued that "Fashion is a great way to empower people and give them skills; rather than give cash to charity you can help people by buying the clothes they make and supporting things they take pride in"; adding, "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." Watson continued her involvement with People Tree, resulting in the release of a 2010 Autumn/Winter collection.
In 2013, Madame Tussauds in London unveiled a wax statue of Watson wearing an Elie Saab haute couture design donated to the museum by the designer. A spokesperson for the museum stated, "[Watson] is one of the most requested personalities by our guests. She's a true English rose known and loved by millions of film and fashion fans around the world". Watson was awarded Best British Style at the 2014 British Fashion Awards. The competition included David Beckham, Amal Clooney, Kate Moss, and Keira Knightley.
Watson has been described as "an early adopter of sustainable fashion" and is noted for dressing ethically on the red carpet. She wore a Calvin Klein gown to the 2016 Met Gala made out of recycled plastic bottles. Watson has supported Good On You, an app that acts as a directory for the sustainability level of fashion brands. In 2017, she began updating an Instagram account entitled "The Press Tour", detailing the ethical brands she wore during the press tours for films such as Beauty and the Beast and The Circle. Watson guest-edited the March 2018 issue of Vogue Australia focusing on fashion sustainability, and was photographed by Peter Lindbergh for the magazine. In January 2020, she partnered with consignment website ThredUP to launch a "Fashion Footprint Calculator", which allows website visitors to calculate the carbon impact of their wardrobes and ways to reduce it.
In June 2020, Watson was appointed the youngest member of the board of directors of Kering, the owner of various fashion brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Watson will chair Kering's sustainability committee. Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault praised the new board members' "knowledge and competences, and the multiplicity of their backgrounds and perspectives". Watson stated she "hope[d] to influence decisions that will impact future generations and the world that we leave them" and was "extremely excited" to collaborate with the Kering Foundation as part of their women's rights work and looked forward to making a difference "behind the scenes".
"It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals. [...] I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too [...] and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves."
Watson is an outspoken feminist. She has promoted education for girls, travelling to Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. In July 2014, she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. That September, an admittedly nervous Watson delivered an address at UN Headquarters in New York City to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which aims to urge men to advocate for gender equality. In that speech she said she began questioning gender-based assumptions at age eight when she was called "bossy" (a trait she has attributed to her being a "perfectionist") whilst boys were not, and at 14 when she was "sexualised by certain elements of the media". Further, Watson's speech described feminism as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" and declared that the perception of "man-hating" is something that "has to stop". The speech made worldwide headlines from both major news outlets and fashion blogs; the organisation's website crashed after press coverage of the event. Watson later said she received threats within less than twelve hours of making the speech, which left her "raging. [...] If they were trying to put me off [women's rights work], it did the opposite." Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, stated, "For a time, there was a conversation about whether 'feminism' was a good thing or a bad thing... [Her speech] gave us the word back." In 2015, Malala Yousafzai told Watson she decided to call herself a feminist after hearing her speech.
Also in September, Watson made her first country visit as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador to Uruguay where she gave a speech highlighting the need for women's political participation. In November 2014, Watson designed a Paddington Bear statue, one of fifty located around London prior to the release of the film Paddington, which was auctioned to raise funds for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). In December, the Ms. Foundation for Women named Watson its Feminist Celebrity of 2014, following an online poll. Watson also gave a speech about gender equality in January 2015, at the World Economic Forum's annual winter meeting. Watson took the top spot on the AskMen "Top 99 Outstanding Women 2015" list on the strength of having "thrown her back" into women's rights issues. In the same year, Watson was included on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people, her first-ever appearance on the list. For its recap, former New York Times editor Jill Abramson noted Watson's "gutsy, smart take on feminism" and called her effort to get men involved "refreshing". Watson has cited Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou as influences. In January 2016, Watson started a feminist Goodreads book club: Our Shared Shelf. The goal of the club is to share feminist ideas and encourage discussion on the topic. One book is selected per month and is discussed in the last week of that month. The first book to be selected was My Life on the Road by Steinem, whom Watson would later interview that February at the How to: Academy in London. Our Shared Shelf ceased updates in January 2020, but continues to be open as a discussion board for recommendations. On 2016 International Day of the Girl Child, Watson visited Malawi to meet with traditional chiefs and girls who returned to school after being freed from child marriage. Watson has partnered with organisations such as Book Fairies and Books on the Underground to leave literature on public transit for consumption.
In March 2017, Watson received backlash for a Vanity Fair photo shoot in which one of the shots had her breasts partly visible; some in the news media accused her of hypocrisy. Bemused by the controversy, she argued that "feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women" but is instead about freedom, liberation and equality, adding, "I really don't know what my tits have to do with it." Watson has discussed her white privilege in feminist spaces; in an interview with British Vogue, she commented, "I saw 'white feminism' coming up again and again, and I was like, 'Hey, this is clearly something that I have to meaningfully engage with. I have to understand this better". She has written about intersectionality for Our Shared Shelf, discussing her self-reflection on "What are the ways I have benefited from being white? In what ways do I support and uphold a system that is structurally racist?" Watson is a founding member of Time's Up UK and coordinated its launch at the 71st British Academy Film Awards. Watson also assisted in the establishment of nationwide industry guidelines on bullying and harassment, implemented by the British Film Institute and British Academy of Film and Television Arts. She donated £1 million to Time's Up UK in February 2018 and later helped set up the organisation's Justice and Equality Fund in October, which donated to women's groups across the country. Marai Larasi, an activist on the issue of violence against women, was her guest to the 2018 Golden Globe Awards.
In July 2019, Watson helped launch a legal helpline for people who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace. Legal advice is provided by Rights of Women, a charity which works to help women through the law. In the same year, she joined a G7 gender equality advisory group convened by the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, to "call on G7 to make political and economic advances for women within their own countries" as well as a "centerpiece of foreign policy". She attended their first meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris in February and attended the 45th G7 summit in August as part of the committee. In an interview with Paris Lees, she voiced her support for transgender rights, reiterating this on Twitter amidst controversy concerning Rowling's remarks on gender identity. Watson has spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement; in June 2020, she shared anti-racism educational resources on social media in support of the George Floyd protests after initially participating in Blackout Tuesday, and uploaded a podcast episode onto Spotify interviewing Reni Eddo-Lodge about her book Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race. In July 2020, she partnered with Lodge and the WOW Foundation to spearhead a project reimagining the London Underground Map, renaming the 270 stops to spotlight women and non-binary people who have shaped the city's history. The initiative will consult writers, museums, and librarians and is set to be published by Haymarket Books on International Women's Day 2021. Watson was among the 400 signatories in a letter calling for the UK government to include women in "decision-making roles" at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
In June 2021, it was reported that Watson was part of a group of investors funding $12.5 million into FabricNano, a startup developing sustainable alternatives to petrochemical products. In January 2022, Watson showed support for the Palestine cause by posting an image of a pro-Palestinian protest with a "Solidarity is a verb" banner on Instagram. This received backlash from former Israeli science minister Danny Danon, who posted on Twitter, "10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite". Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan also criticised her. Danon's comment was criticised by Leah Greenberg, a co-executive director of Indivisible Project and Conservative Party peer Sayeeda Warsi. More than forty people, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Miriam Margolyes, Gael García Bernal, Peter Capaldi, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Coogan and Charles Dance, supported Watson in a letter organised by Artists for Palestine UK.
Watson is an activist for environmental justice and climate change mitigation. In 2019, Swedish researchers from Lund University analyzed the carbon footprints of ten celebrities including Watson's. Watson's carbon footprint was the lowest of the celebrities analyzed, but her CO2 emissions from flying alone was still 15.1 tons of CO2 – three times the global average. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Watson hosted a panel on climate change with guests including climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Watson has often been cited as a role model, though she shies away from the term, stating that "it puts the fear of god into [her]". Her impact on teenage girls' view of women's rights has been referred to as the "Emma Watson effect", with respondents from a National Citizen Service survey stating that her work in activism had inspired them to label themselves feminists. In her initial post-Harry Potter career, she was noted to focus on smaller films rather than big-budget studio films. Adam White of The Independent states that Watson's acting style possesses "a very human sensitivity and quiet strength."
Describing Watson's off-screen persona, Derek Blasberg of Vanity Fair has called her "shy", "friendly, intelligent, and down to earth." Steinem has described her as "way more like a real person than a movie star", while author bell hooks considers her to be part of "a very different, new breed [of actors] who are interested in being whole and having a holistic life, as opposed to being identified with just wealth and fame."
Watson's character in Harry Potter has had a significant impact on pop culture; the actress has commented, "I have met fans [with] my face tattooed on their bod[ies]. I've met people who used the Harry Potter books to get through cancer. I don't know how to explain it, but the Harry Potter phenomenon steps into a different zone." Watson has been the subject of substantial media attention since the beginning of her career; on her eighteenth birthday she was photographed by paparazzi attempting to take pictures up her skirt, and she has been victim of numerous stalking threats. Watson does not take selfies with fans, citing security concerns, and instead prefers to talk one-on-one during interactions.
In March 2009, she was ranked sixth on the Forbes list of "Most Valuable Young Stars" and in February 2010, she was Hollywood's highest-paid female star, having earned an estimated £19 million in 2009. In 2017, Forbes ranked her among the world's highest-paid actresses, with annual earnings of $14 million. In 2013, Watson was British GQ's Woman of the Year and topped Empire's list of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars. Watson was found to be the sixth most admired woman in the world in global surveys conducted by YouGov in 2020.
In a 2019 interview, Watson stated she divides her time between London and New York City. She refuses to publicly discuss her romantic relationships, stating, "I can't talk about my boyfriend in an interview and then expect people not to take paparazzi pictures of me walking around outside my home. You can't have it both ways." She began a relationship with American businessman Leo Robinton in 2019; they split in 2021, at which point she became linked to Brandon Green, son of controversial billionaire Sir Philip Green.
When asked about her faith in 2014, Watson described herself as a spiritual universalist. In February 2016, Watson was appointed visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.
On coping with intense fame from a young age, she has said that remaining rooted in her own identity helped her eventually "find peace". In 2013, she had become certified to teach yoga and meditation. As part of this certification, she attended a week-long meditation course at a Canadian facility, in which residents are not allowed to speak, in order "to figure out how to be at home with myself". Regarding her meditation training, she stated in an interview with Elle Australia that an uncertain future meant finding "a way to always feel safe and at home within myself. Because I can never rely on a physical place."
|2001||Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Hermione Granger|
|2002||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban|
|2005||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix|
|2008||The Tale of Despereaux||Princess Pea||Voice|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Hermione Granger|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2|
|My Week with Marilyn||Lucy|
|2012||The Perks of Being a Wallflower||Samantha "Sam" Button|
|2013||The Bling Ring||Nicolette "Nicki" Moore|
|This Is the End||Herself|
|2017||Beauty and the Beast||Belle|
|The Circle||Mae Holland|
|2019||Little Women||Margaret "Meg" March|
|2007||Ballet Shoes||Pauline Fossil||Television film|
|2015||The Vicar of Dibley||Reverend Iris||Episode: "The Bishop of Dibley"|
|2022||Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts||Herself||Reunion special|
|2010||"Say You Don't Want It"||Lady||One Night Only|
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Emma Watson
Throughout her career, Watson has received several awards and nominations, including a Young Artist Award for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001). Additionally, she received nominations for three Critics' Choice Movie Awards, four Empire Awards, 14 MTV Movie & TV Awards (winning three), six People's Choice Awards (winning two), 12 Teen Choice Awards (winning eight).
Watson's efforts in activism and philanthropy, most notably her support of women's rights and her role in launching the UN Women campaign HeForShe, has received widespread media recognition and acclaim. Watson was listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2015. Her public image and style has also been the subject of widespread media attention and scrutiny, with many citing her as one of the most beautiful women in the entertainment industry. She has received several recognitions for her style, from the Teen Choice Awards and British Fashion Awards.
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When they saw that the minute I stepped up and talked about women's rights I was immediately threatened. I mean within less than 12 hours I was receiving threats. ... It's funny, people were like, 'Oh she's going to be so disheartened by this.' ... I was just raging. It made me so angry that I was just like, 'This is why I have to be doing this. If they were trying to put me off, it did the opposite'.