Emma Watson Biography: Success Story of Actress, Model, and Activist

Emma Watson Biography

Emma Watson

In this success story, we will share Emma Watson’s biography, born Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson, a young British actress, rising model, and activist.

Emma Watson gained popularity when she was only nine years old, thanks to the leading role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, where she starred with Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Her appearance in all eight film series brought her various awards, worldwide fame, and over £69 million fortune (US$85 million).

Despite her young age, Emma Watson has become very popular, and her career in the movie industry has developed rapidly. During her short career, she won 25 awards and was nominated 35 times.

Early Life

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on April 15, 1990, in Maisons-Laffitte, a respectable suburb of Paris. She was born to a family of English lawyers Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. Emma was named after the paternal grandmother. The first five years of her life in France (her mother, Jacqueline Luesby, is French), but later, in 1995, the family moved to Oxfordshire, England (the birthplace of her father, Chris Watson). Chris and Jacqueline’s marriage didn’t last long and soon fell apart. Emma stayed with her mother and younger brother, Alex, who is three years younger than her.

Emma’s acting career began at the Dragon School in Oxford, remaining there until 2003. She was actively participating in school plays. By the age of ten, she already performed in roles of an evil witch in Arthur: The Young Years, the part of a swallow in The Swallow and The Prince, the angry cook in Alice in Wonderland, and also the leading female role in The Happy Prince. When she was six, she started attending a part-time theater school, Stagecoach Theatre Arts, where she studied acting, dancing, and singing. When Emma Watson was seven years old, she won the school competition of reciters, and by that time, she already had a strong belief that she would become an actress.

Emma studied diligently at the school. She was fond of literature and sports. The girl has played hockey since she was four, so she joined the hockey team at the school. Besides that, she has always been involved in various athletics and rowing competitions. According to her teachers, she was very active and cheerful.

Since she was a child, Emma loved singing and dancing; that’s why she dreamt about playing roles in musicals. Her childhood idols were famous actresses such as Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, and Sandra Bullock. Another passion of the young star was reading, although she never had such a passionate love for books as her heroine, Hermione.

In 1999, thanks to the head of the theater group, Emma Watson came to the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone casting. At that time, she was only nine years old, and she couldn’t even imagine that she could get one of the leading roles. Film producers were surprised by her confidence. Finally, after eight auditions, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint were informed that they had been approved for the roles of Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, personally approved the selected candidates.

Nine-year-old Emma did not know that this audition would tie her to the Harry Potter film series from 2001 to 2011 and bring her worldwide fame.

Actress Career

The first movie featuring young Emma Watson was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which appeared on the screens in 2001. This film broke records for opening-day sales and instantly earned immense popularity. It became the highest-grossing film in commercial distribution in 2001. Emma Watson was nominated for five awards for her excellent acting performance and won the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress.

Only on November 15, 2002, an army of fans, eagerly waiting to continue the story about the young wizards, had a chance to watch a new movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This project did not cause the unanimous admiration of critics. Critics’ reviews differed: the Los Angeles Times magazine stated that the actors had matured within a year. In contrast, The Times magazine criticized the film director Chris Columbus for “under-employing” Emma Watson’s prevalent character. However, the film was considered relatively successful. In the second part of the Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson was awarded the Otto Award from the German edition of Bravo magazine for the role of Hermione.

I've got about eight pairs of shoes, and that's it. – Emma Watson Click To Tweet

In 2004, Emma Watson appeared in the third part of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie series. This time, critics greatly admired Emma Watson’s acting talent. They noted that the young actress gained more professionalism and seemed more confident. Although Prisoner of Azkaban was the lowest-grossing film of the entire series with a box office of $796.7 million, Emma Watson received two awards: the Otto Award and the Child Performance of the Year from the UK-based film magazine Total Film.

The Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth Harry Potter film series installment, was released in 2005. This motion picture reached new milestones compared to the previous movie series. The film set new records at the box office on its opening weekend in May, a non-May opening weekend in the US, and an opening weekend in the UK. For the role in The Goblet of Fire, Watson was nominated for three awards, and once again, she won the Otto Award. In the same year, Watson became the youngest actress whose photo appeared on the cover of the famous Teen Vogue magazine.

The film set a new worldwide opening weekend gross record of $332.7 million. Emma Watson won the National Movie Award for Best Female Performance. Hermione’s, Harry Potter’s, and Ron Weasley’s characters became incredibly popular. On July 09, 2007, the famous trio left imprints of their hands, feet, and magic wands in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

By July 2007, Emma Watson earned more than £10 million ($13 million) for the Harry Potter film series work, and she stated that she was rich enough to retire and never work for money again. Despite the success of Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix, all the lead actors doubted whether to sign the contracts to continue their roles for the final two episodes. Nevertheless, they all signed the arrangements, and Emma Watson eventually signed for the position on March 23, 2007.

Apart from the role in the Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson also received the leading role of Pauline Fossil in the 2007 BBC film Ballet Shoes, a novel adaptation of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild written in 1936. The film director, Sandra Goldbacher, commented that Watson was perfect for that role as Watson had all the qualities that perfectly described the aspiring character Pauline Fossil. It was broadcast in the UK to a 5.7 million TV audience. However, the film did not become very popular and received mixed reviews.

Emma Watson took part in the creation of an animated children’s film, The Tale of Despereaux. Emma lent her voice to the character of Princess Pea. This animated comedy was released in December 2008 and grossed $87 million globally.

In real life, Emma Watson is as curious and demanding as her character, Hermione Granger. The actress successfully combines her studies with a busy shooting schedule. In 2009, Watson enrolled at Brown University, and in the same year, the sixth part of the movie series Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, where Emma was brilliant, as always. For this role, Emma was nominated for three film awards, Best Female Performance, Favorite On-Screen Team, and Choice Movie Actress: Fantasy, but did not win. In 2009, Watson appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records pages as the highest-grossing actress of the decade.

Watson’s filming for the final part, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, began on February 18, 2009, and finished on June 12, 2010. Due to the scripting part, the book’s film adaptation was divided into two parts. Therefore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was released in November 2010, and the second movie was released in July 2011. Thanks to the final parts of the film, Emma Watson won four awards: Favorite Ensemble Movie Cast, Choice Movie Liplock, Choice Summer Movie Star: Female, and Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

In 2010, Emma Watson starred in the music video for the song Say You Don’t Want It by One Night Only after meeting lead singer George Craig at the Winter/Summer Burberry advertising campaign in 2010.

In 2011, Emma Watson starred as Lucy in My Week with Marilyn; it was her first post-Harry Potter film. Her character, Lucy, is a wardrobe assistant who is flirted with by Colin Clark, the movie’s main character, and has several dates with him.

The actress won the People’s Choice Award in the Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress nomination for her role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) film, a 1999 epistolary novel adaptation of the same name written by Stephen Chbosky. Filming started in the summer of 2011, and the film was released in September 2012. In 2012, at ELLE’s 19th annual Women in Hollywood Awards, Emma Watson was honored with the Calvin Klein Emerging Star Spotlight Award for iconic performance in moving pictures.

In March 2013, Watson had negotiations regarding playing the role of Cinderella in Disney’s screenplay adaptation of Cinderella. She was offered the chance to play the part of the main character. However, she later declined this proposal.

As an actress I take roles I find interesting. – Emma Watson Click To Tweet

In April 2013, Watson received a special Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards ceremony; this prize is presented to individuals who inspire the young generation and have made their mark in the entertainment industry. In October 2013, Emma Watson became a Woman of the Year according to the famous men’s magazine British GQ. In 2013, Emma Watson appeared in the role of Nicki Moore in the film The Bling Ring (2013). The film was based on actual events of Bling Ring robberies. While the movie’s picture received mixed reviews, Emma Watson was praised for portraying Nicky. Watson was supported in the apocalyptic comedy This is the End (2013), where she starred with famous actors such as Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Channing Tatum.

In March 2014, Emma Watson appeared in the movie Noah (2014), directed by Darren Aronofsky. She played the role of Ila, Noah’s daughter-in-law, and worked with such actors as Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, and others.

Even though almost all of her childhood was spent on various film sets, the actress was rarely offered the leading roles. Nevertheless, the career of a famous British actress continued to evolve quite rapidly.

Watson starred as Lena in a true-story movie called Colonia (2015). In the center of the plot of Colonia is a young couple from Germany – Lena and Daniel. Young people appeared at the heart of the Chilean military coup of 1973, the result of which was the rise to power of General Augusto Pinochet. The workforces of the secret police kidnap Daniel, and Lena starts searching for her lover to rescue him. As a result of her search, she comes to the charitable and educational society called “Colonia Dignidad.”

According to Emma’s words, the work on Colonia excited her the most. It allowed her to try herself in a European historical drama.

Emma Watson will star as Belle in the new adaptation of the famous Disney fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, which is planned to be released in 2017. Emma Watson even took several singing lessons for the role of Belle. The director of the new film adaptation of the Oscar-winning tale is Bill Condon, the film director of The Fifth Estate (2013), Tilda (2011), and the last two parts of The Twilight Saga.

Emma Watson also starred in such movies as My Week with Marilyn (2011), Regression (2015), and The Circle (2016).

Modeling Career

Unlike Radcliffe and Grint, who mainly concentrate on their acting careers, Watson tries herself in other areas. In 2009, she demonstrated a collection of clothes from Burberry. In 2010, Emma Watson became the face of Burberry’s spring collection, along with her brother Alex, model Max Hurd, and musicians George Craig and Matt Gilmour.

Later, Emma signed a contract with People Tree, a brand that specializes in ethnic clothes.

In March 2011, Emma Watson became a face and a representative of the famous French house Lancôme. In September 2011, she appeared in the new Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose perfume advertisement.

Emma was growing up and becoming more and more attractive. In May 2013, Watson was featured on the cover of British GQ in the image of Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman (1990).

Later, Watson posed naked for the project Natural Beauty by photographer and activist James Houston to call attention to the protection of nature.

Emma Watson appeared nine times on the covers of ELLE magazine in different countries. In April 2014, she graced two covers simultaneously on ELLE: in the United States and Australia.

Many people even predicted her brilliant future as a model. Although Emma often attends photo shoots for various glossy magazines, she does not plan to get seriously engaged in this business and considers it just a fad.


Despite quite a successful actress career, Emma Watson pays much attention to her education. She has gone through several educational stages in her life.

From September 1995 to June 1998, Emma Watson attended Lynam’s kindergarten, a part of Dragon School. Lynams is one of the most prestigious kindergartens in England, considered a pre-stage of schooling. Emma showed her talent at the age of 7 years; she read a poem by James Reeves Sea and took first place in the recitation competition.

In 1998, Emma started her studies at the Dragon School in Oxford. This school is considered one of the best private schools in England. Many graduates who attended the Dragon School became famous in different areas and succeeded incredibly. She played field hockey club in Oxford.

From 2003 to 2007, after studying at the Dragon School, Watson enrolled at Headington School, Oxford private girls’ school.

This place may seem unusual for the modern generation because all students here are females. Also, each student had to participate in every school event, which was tricky for young Emma Watson due to her intensive schedule. The girl met her best friends: top models Sophie Sumner and Amy Vaver.

Because of the constant shooting and participation in various public events, Emma Watson was always exhausted, and she simply did not have enough energy or time to study correctly and attend school. After the work on the fifth part of the Harry Potter film series was over, Emma was determined to go back to school. However, when she received an offer to play one of the significant roles in the Ballet Shoes, she couldn’t refuse. Of course, because of her popularity, teachers forgave the girl for her absences in classes and delays with her homework, so Emma graduated from school without any difficulties.

In 2008, Emma Watson finished summer acting courses at The Royal Academy of Dramatic (RADA) in London. RADA is one of the most prestigious and influential theater schools in the whole world. After graduation, Emma took a sabbatical year from her studies to continue filming in the Harry Potter film series.

I'm a perfectionist, so my bossiness definitely comes out. – Emma Watson Click To Tweet

In 2009, Emma Watson decided to pursue her education and applied to Brown University, one of the oldest universities in the USA. This institution is a part of the system of the best educational establishments in the United States, the Ivy League. Emma’s primary focus was studying history, philosophy, and English literature. However, due to her participation in creating the last part of the Harry Potter movie series, Emma Watson had to pause her education in 2010.

From 2011 to 2012, the actress continued to gather knowledge and self-improve at Worcester College. This institution is an excellent mix of old traditions and modern views. The primary difference of this college from other establishments is that it has no limitations regarding the age of its students; it is open to everyone who has passed the exams. Emma Watson chose Worcester College because of the student exchange programs that allowed scholars to transfer to Brown University. She was there for only one year, studying English literature, but she never regretted her staying there.

In 2012, Watson enrolled in Brown University for the second time after taking a 2-year break. Despite all the difficulties and hurdles, she finished her education in May 2014 and earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. As she admitted, the university study was accompanied by inevitable hassles, but the students and teachers always treated her with understanding and were ready to help her.

Family and Personal Life

As for the family, Emma Watson, apart from her brother Alex, has twin stepsisters, Nina Watson and Lucy Watson, and brother Toby Watson. On the mother’s side, she also has brothers David and Andy. Even though the actress does not see them often, the family is always in the first place for her.

Emma’s father, Chris Watson, was born in 1958 in Britain. He graduated from Oxford University and obtained a law degree. During his studies, Chris Watson met Emma’s mother-to-be, Jacqueline Luesby, who also studies at the University of Oxford. In the late 80s, they moved to France. For some reason, the relationship between Chris and Jacqueline looked more like a friendship than love, and the couple decided to divorce in 1995.

Today, Chris Watson is a partner and one of the executives at the CMS Cameron McKenna company. He speaks English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. He has a vast professional experience. Chris was an intern in Iran and France, and his articles are often published in law magazines.

Chris Watson played a massive role in Emma’s life. After the divorce, Emma returned to Britain with her brother Alex and mother. The family’s financial situation is shaky because Jacqueline and Chris do not earn much money. However, Mr. Watson was determined to give his daughter an excellent education and insisted on her attendance at one of the most prestigious schools in England. Emma always says she is very grateful to her father for it; she tries to study as perfectly as possible to demonstrate her gratitude to her dad. Now, Emma and Chris often spend time together. They go for walks and attend various exhibitions. Chris Watson almost always accompanies Emma at different events and premieres.

Emma’s mother, Jacqueline Luesby, was born in 1959 in France. Just like Chris Watson, she graduated from Oxford University with a law degree. Jacqueline prefers to avoid the cameras, so she is rarely seen with Emma. But, according to Emma’s words, her mother is the one who influenced her style by her French elegance and charm. In every interview, Emma Watson speaks about her mother with incredible tenderness, warmth, and love.

Alexander Chris Watson was born in Paris, France, on December 15, 1992. Now, he is building his modeling career. He took part in photo shoots with Emma for Burberry and People Tree advertising campaigns. Alex Watson starred in the music video of a famous English singer, Pixie Lott. Also, on his account are a few bit parts in several movies and several photo shoots for British magazines. Emma and Alex have excellent and friendly relationships. Alex considers Emma a great support for him: she gives valuable tips that help his career development. She is not just his sister but also his best friend.

Nina Watson and Lucy Watson are the daughters of Chris Watson and his new wife, Julie. Twins were born on September 17, 2004. They also appeared in the movie The Ballet Shoes in episodic roles and played little Pauline Fossil. Toby Watson was born in 2003. He is also Chris and Julie’s child. He was seen several times in London together with Emma. In 2010, Emma Watson took him to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. At the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, all guests were touched when they saw Emma hugging Toby, Nina, and Lucy. Emma likes to be an older sister to her numerous brothers and sisters.

Emma also has stepbrothers David and Andy Taylor, from her mother’s side. They are the sons of Emma’s stepfather.

Love Affairs

Emma Watson prefers not to discuss her private life, so she rarely mentions her love affairs. The actress prefers to reply to such questions with general phrases about what qualities she likes in men and what kind of family she wants. However, apart from long relationships, Emma Watson also had numerous admirers, and she rarely lacked men’s attention.

During filming the first movie, she liked Tom Felton, who played the role of Draco Malfoy. Later, Emma Watson confessed that when she was ten-twelve years old, she had a terrible crush on Tom Felton, who ignored her. Tom saw Emma as his little sister, and it broke her heart. The first love is not always mutual.

I'm very romantic and of course, I want to be in love. – Emma Watson Click To Tweet

The first profound love of Emma Watson was a rugby player, Tom Ducker. The couple started dating when Emma was 17, but, as often happens at their age, the relationship didn’t last too long.

In the summer of 2009, Emma Watson met a 27-year-old bank clerk, Jay Barrymore, with whom Emma developed her first lasting relationship: the couple had been together for over two years.

There is little information on Will Adamowicz, except that he was born between 1989 and 1991 and likes rowing. Once the couple’s first pictures appeared in the press, Will Adamowicz deleted all his social profiles from the Internet. In 2012, Will visited Emma at the film set of The Bling Ring, after which the couple attended the Coachella festival, where they celebrated Emma’s birthday and had a lot of fun. In January 2014, fans and the press found out about the end of their relationship right after journalists raised a fuss because of Will’s photo with the package of white powder. Later, it became known that Will and Emma had parted in the summer of 2013. According to their friends, the actress’s busy schedule was the reason for this.

At the beginning of 2014, there were only rumors about a new relationship with an Oxford rugby player, Matthew Janney. However, sometime later, the couple was caught together on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, and this was the first time they were seen together. Twenty-two years old then, Matt played in the Oxford rugby team and was the best team player. Therefore, it explains why Emma Watson started to attend rugby matches more often at the end of 2013. In November 2014, the couple ended their year-long relationship. The official reason for the breakup was the busy schedules of both Emma and Matt. After the break up with ex Matt Janney, Emma Watson commented in an interview for the September 2015 issue of Vogue UK: “I went on a silent retreat because I really wanted to figure out how to be at home with myself.” 

The press and numerous fans always discuss Emma’s relationships with handsome guys. This is unsurprising because the actress is guarding her private life so carefully that it only stirs curiosity. As the Western media reports, Emma Watson is now in love. Her choice did not stop at some famous actors, models, or singers. The name of Emma’s protégé is William ‘Mack’ Knight, and he describes himself as a US tech and business entrepreneur. Mack has been working for four years as a senior manager at Medallia company, which sells software to improve the customer experience. A source in The Sun magazine told them: “Mack is just a normal, down-to-earth guy.” It remains unknown how William Knight got acquainted with Emma Watson. However, Mack visited Emma in her hometown of Oxford for New Year 2016.

Social Activity

Emma Watson can boast of stylish photo shoots, memorable roles in modern films, and social activities.

Emma Watson actively fights for women’s rights. Watson visited Bangladesh and Zambia to promote girls’ education in these countries.

In June 2014, Watson became a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. This entity started its work in January 2011. It was created to combat discrimination against women in twelve significant areas of modern life: education, health, employment, human rights, and others.

In September 2014, Emma Watson gave a speech at the UN headquarters in New York to support the launch of the HeForShe campaign that encourages men to stand for gender equality.

I'm a very heady person; I'm in my head a lot. – Emma Watson Click To Tweet

Also, in September, Watson visited Uruguay for the first time as the Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women. There, she gave a speech emphasizing the need for women’s participation in politics.

The HeForShe campaign had a massive success on the Internet. Thanks to this campaign, the #HeForShe hashtag was mentioned more than 1.3 billion times on social networks, raising the question of inequality between men and women. In 2015, Emma Watson was named The Campaigner of the Year and received the Observer Ethical Award of 2015.

Emma Watson wants to devote herself to social activities in 2016 as the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN. In January 2016, she started the feminist Goodreads book club Our Shared Shelf, which aimed to raise the topic of gender inequality by discussing scientific articles and books on this subject.

Emma Watson’s life story is vivid and bright but simultaneously challenging. Despite her young age, she is already involved in social activity and joined the women’s rights movement. We hope you have enjoyed exploring Emma Watson’s biography and her success story and that it inspired you to discover.

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