Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is a British actress, model, and activist. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. She rose to prominence after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, having acted only in school plays previously. Watson appeared in all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011, earning worldwide fame, critical accolades, and around $60 million.
Watson was born in Paris, France, the daughter of English lawyers Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. Watson lived in Paris until the age of five. Her parents separated when she was young; following their divorce, Watson moved back to England to live with her mother in Oxfordshire while spending weekends at her father's house in London. Watson has stated that 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 in Oxford, remaining there until 2003. From the age of 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 the age of ten, Watson 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. Following the Dragon School, Watson moved on to Headington School. While on film sets, she and her peers 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 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 for 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 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 instalment of the series. 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". 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. Critics praised the increasing maturity of Watson and her teenage co-stars; The New York Times called her performance "touchingly earnest". 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. Watson won the inaugural National Movie Award for Best Female Performance.
By July 2007, Watson's work in 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. In March 2009, she was ranked 6th on the Forbes list of "Most Valuable Young Stars", and in February 2010, she was named as Hollywood's highest paid female star, having earned an estimated £19 million in 2009.
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." Watson also lent her voice to the role of Princess Pea in the animated film The Tale of Despereaux,
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiered on 15 July 2009, having been delayed from November 2008. 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 energised, eager to give all they have to what's left of the series".
In May 2010, Watson was reported to be in talks to star in a film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In The Bling Ring (2013), Watson stars as Nicki. While the film mostly received mixed reviews, critics gave almost unanimous praise for Watson's portrayal.
In June 2012, Watson was confirmed for the role as Ila in Darren Aronofsky's Noah, which began filming the following month, and was released in March 2014. In March 2013, it was reported that Watson was in negotiations to star as the title character in a live-action Disney adaptation of Cinderella. Watson was offered the role, but turned it down because she did not connect with the character.
In October 2013, Watson was chosen as the Woman of the Year by British GQ. That same month, she was one of two British actors to land atop a readers' poll of the sexiest movie stars of 2013, beating Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence for the actresses' title in an online poll of more than 50,000 film fans.
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 won for British Artist of the Year and dedicated her award to Millie, her pet hamster who died as Watson filmed Philosopher's Stone. 2015 releases in which Watson starred include two thriller films; first Colonia, and second Regression. Both received generally negative reviews. 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.
She played Belle in the 2017 live-action Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The film earned over $1.2 billion at the box office, which as of June 2017, made it the highest-grossing film of 2017 and the 10th highest-grossing film of all time. Her reported fee was $3 million upfront with profit participation bringing her total to $15 million. Later that year she starred in the film adaptation of Dave Eggers's novel The Circle.
After leaving school, Watson took a gap year to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows beginning in February 2009, but said she intended to continue her studies and later confirmed that she had chosen Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In March 2011, after 18 months at the university, Watson announced that she was deferring her course for "a semester or two", though she attended Worcester College, Oxford during the 2011–12 academic year as a "visiting student".
Women's Rights Work
Watson has promoted education for girls, visiting Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. In July 2014, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. In September that year, an admittedly nervous Watson delivered an address at UN Headquarters in New York City to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for 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". Watson's speech also called feminism "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". Watson later said she received threats within 12 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". In 2015, Malala Yousafzai told Watson she decided to call herself a feminist after hearing Watson's 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 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.
In January 2016, Emma 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 Gloria Steinem.
She brought Marai Larasi, an activist on the issue of violence against women, as a guest to the 75th Golden Globe Awards in 2018.
Watson and TIME'S UP
Time’s Up is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. It aims to combat sexual harassment and systemic sexism in workplaces nationwide.
Time’s Up will advocate for legislation to tackle workplace harassment, and the campaign includes a legal fund to help people protect themselves from sexual misconduct.
A letter from the group read: “We particularly want to lift up the voices, power and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation.”
The members reportedly created a legal defense fund that will connect victims of sexual harassment with the appropriate lawyers. The fund has already raised over $14 million on GoFundMe through grassroots donations, along with contributions from heavy-hitters like Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep.
Although it's not clear exactly where the money will be funneled, the purpose is to "help low-income women, like the janitors, like the farm workers, like home health workers, who don't have the means to get representation that they need when they speak out and to assert their rights," according to Tchen, who is spearheading the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.
Emma Watson revealed she is backing Time's Up to fight sexual harrasment across the entertaiment industry and other sectors.
She shared a post on Instagram with her 41.1 million followers, writing: “The clock’s been ticking on the abuse of power. I stand in solidarity with women across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, and assault. #TIMESUP on oppression and marginalization. #TIMESUP on misrepresentation and underrepresentation.”
She also urged people to “sign the solidarity letter” and to donate to the Time’s Up legal defence fund.
"It’s not the absence of fear. It’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith."
Source : Wikipedia, Goalcast, Insider, and Independent.ie