The Evolution Of Emma Watson
Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone (2001)
The Film: If you’re going to be accused of anything, it might as well be for stealing the show. Such were the (no doubt entirely welcome) accusations hurled at Emma Watson for her debut performance as Hermione Granger.
Singled out by Potter author JK Rowling as a favourite for the role, Watson brought just the right amount of snooty nerdiness and warm vulnerability to the part of half-witch, half-human Hermione, who befriends Boy Who Lived Harry Potter.
Clever Clogs : Not only is Hermione the first one able to float a feather using magic (“It's LeviOsa, not LeviosAR!”), she’s also pivotal in the final series of puzzles that stand between Harry and Lord Voldemort.
The Early Show 2002
The Interview: “There were so many people!” giggles a scrawny young Watson (opens in new tab) when she’s asked about the premiere of the first Harry Potter . Interviewed on a morning show alongside Rupert Grint (by a clutching female host who’s desperate to get the kids to say something interesting), Emma sells the film effusively.
Funny, confident and uber-posh, she proves herself to be a witty charmer even at such a young age, easily dominating the grunt-y Grint (all he manages to muster is the occasional “really, really wicked”).
Hermione-esque Quote: “Yeah, that’s right, yeah.” Watson (rather poshly) confirms Grint’s right when he says they were at the Potter premiere on Sunday. It’s creepily Hermione-esque.
Counting Down Interview 2002
The Interview: Watson looks somewhat confused (opens in new tab) when she’s asked about a potential romance between Hermione and her boy buddies – and that’s not surprising, considering this is meant to be an interview about a kid’s movie.
Somewhat fittingly (considering all the talk of romance), Watson reveals romcom queens Julia Roberts (“she’s an all-time favourite”), Goldie Hawn and Sandra Bullock are all inspirations.
Hermione-esque Quote: “No chance!” Watson maintains adamantly. “No chance!” She’s been asked if Hermione will ever kiss Harry or Ron. Fair dos.
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2002)
The Film: Just a year after the first Potter film leapt out of the magic box onto the big screen, the second one followed suit. Despite rushing into production to ensure the series’ young stars didn’t outgrow their roles, director Chris Columbus delivers the same amount of frothy thrills and a few nuggets of pure darkness.
Watson’s less stilted this time around, and remains a highlight as the uptight, upright Hermione. The hair's better, too.
Clever Clogs: When Harry discovers he’s able to talk to snakes (as you do), Hermione’s the one who realises he’s a Parselmouth, which becomes pivotal to the film’s central “who’s the heir?” mystery.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
The Film: More scene-stealing abounds when Watson lands a crowd-pleasing blow to Draco Malfoy’s snout, proving she’s just as adept at real-life scraps as magical ones.
This was the year that Harry Potter grew up, and Watson’s noticeably blossoming as well. With director Alfonso Cuarón at the helm, everything’s far more naturalistic, and now that she’s free of those restrictive school togs, Hermione becomes an even more interesting and relatable young teen.
Clever Clogs: It’s Hermione to the rescue again when she uses her magical time-turner to go back with Harry and save Buckbeak and Sirius.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005)
The Film: Noted for her “touchingly earnest” performance (by The New York Times ), this fourth Potter has Watson going from young whipper-snapper to young woman right before our very eyes. No wonder Ron gulps when she appears in her beautiful ballgown.
While her co-star Daniel Radcliffe was still being criticised for a wooden performance, Watson earned the lion’s share of praise as the increasingly beautiful Mudblood.
Clever Clogs: Watson began to properly embrace her fame at this time, becoming the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Teen Vogue , and laying the foundations of an accompanying fashion career.
The Letterman Show July 2007
The Interview: Watson takes a seat next to the American interviewer (opens in new tab) to promote Order Of The Phoenix . She’s wearing a particularly teeter-inducing pair of (S&M-ish) black shoes, paired with a patent leather belt that screams “make me a fashionista!”
This being the actress’ first appearance on the infamous chat show, Watson’s noticeably (and adorably) nervous – most of her answers consist of “yeah” before Letterman dives into another question. She’s not shy about her grades, though...
Hermione-esque Quote: “I’m pretty much an A girl,” Watson says of her school prowess. Hermione would be proud.
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (2007)
The Film: Shattering all of the previous Potter records, this fifth wizarding wonder made $332m worldwide in its opening weekend – a gargantuan sum befitting of such an ambitious franchise.
Confirming their celebrity status, Watson and her two co-stars got their own spot in the pavement outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, leaving their foot, hand and wand-prints in a now much-visited slab.
Clever Clogs: Hermione’s the only one who warns Harry that it’s likely Voldemort is luring him to the Department of Mysteries – something that turns out to be true. Not that Hermione’s warnings hinder Harry in the slightest.
Late Night With Conan OBrien 2007
The Interview: Aged 17, Watson faces the famously unruly late night interviewer Conan O’Brien (opens in new tab) . She’s still talking about Order Of The Phoenix – and she’s still rolling out in very posh party frocks.
Reminiscing on first getting involved in Potter -mania, she admits it’s “quite horrible” to look back at herself as a 10 year old in the first film.
Hermione-esque Quote: “I was in Waitrose the other day and I came across Hermione’s Magic Muffins,” laughs Watson. Alright, it’s not really something Hermione would say, but it’s too funny not to mention.
Ballet Shoes (2007)
The Film: A BBC movie based on the novel by Noel Streatfield, Ballet Shoes was Watson’s first movie role outside of the Potterverse. She plays Pauline Fossil, one of three sisters who are living in near poverty, and who are adopted by an eccentric explorer after the death of their parents.
“She has a piercing, delicate aura that makes you want to gaze and gaze at her,” says director Sandra Goldbacher of her young star.
Clever Clogs: For Watson, this was a canny move. Though the Potter franchise was far from over, Ballet Shoes offered her a chance at playing another character, safe in the knowledge that she’d soon be returning to Hogwarts.
Reelz Interview 2007
The Interview: Yet more Order Of The Phoenix natter as a surprisingly dressed-down Watson gets grilled (opens in new tab) on how she feels about this fifth, moodier Potter film, which sees her relationship with Ron begin to shift.
“I really love this film,” Watson enthuses. Even though she’s six years in to what will become over a decade playing the same character, her enthusiasm for the franchise hasn’t waned.
Hermione-esque Quote: “It’s quite exciting, it’s nice to be back,” Watson says about the new film. It’s like Hermione talking about the start of another school year.
The Tale Of Despereaux (2008)
The Film: Before she considered returning to Hogwarts, Watson lent her voice to this CGI family film directed by Rob Stevenhagen and Sam Fell.
She plays the lonely Princess Pea, who befriends an adventurous mouse called Despereaux Tilling (Matthew Broderick). When Despereaux tells rat Roscuro about the miserable princess, the rat decides to kidnap her.
Clever Clogs: Watson proves she’s not content to merely stay within her Potter safety zone, trying out new things with Despereaux . Nice job.
The Letterman Show July 2009
The Interview: Two years after her first battle of the wits with the wordy David Letterman, Watson’s back to promote her next Potter outing (opens in new tab) – this time it’s The Half-Blood Prince . Fittingly, Letterman seems to have borrowed Potter’s glasses for the event.
Oddly, the interview is almost an exact replica of the chat the pair had in 2007, with Letterman again quizzing Watson about her grades (she confirms she’s “in the A category”).
Hermione-esque Quote: “Are you trying to gun me down now?” Watson asks Letterman, proving she can hold her own just as well as Hermione.
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)
The Film: A shadow of doubt was briefly cast over the sixth Potter film when Watson, Radcliffe and Grint were all asked to sign on to continue the franchise after Order Of The Phoenix . Watson was the most hesitant, unsure that she could surrender four more years of her life to the series. She eventually agreed to return, commanding a sum of £2m per movie.
The resultant movie is the darkest Potter yet, with Watson clearly revelling in Hermione and Ron's deepening relationship.
Clever Clogs: Hermione’s burgeoning feelings for Ron turn her into an emotional mess, meaning for once she’s not on her usually sharp form.
The Letterman Show November 2010
The Interview: Watson shows off her new pixie hair-do (opens in new tab) while dropping by Letterman’s show for a chat about Deathly Hallows Part 1 . With a frankly bizarre black and red shiny dress, she sort of looks like Liza Minnelli circa Cabaret .
It's her third round with Letterman, and Watson clearly knows what’s expected of her. Yep, cue yet more questions about her education thus far...
Hermione-esque Quote: “It’s wonderful at the school,” Watson says of coming Stateside for further education, before admitting “the first couple of weeks were a little bit strange”. Any three-headed dogs, then?
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
The Film: And so the end begins. Essentially a magic-spangled road movie, Deathly Hallows Part 1 kicks our central trio out of Hogwarts and drops them into the wilderness, where they attempt to find the scattered shards of Voldemort’s soul.
Watson shares a surprisingly sparkly chemistry with Radcliffe when the two are left alone – ah, what could have been.
Clever Clogs: When they look all but doomed to be caught by Snatchers, Hermione thinks on her feet and hits Harry with an uglification spell that should stop him from being recognised. Clever girl.
Friday Night With Jonathan Ross 2009
The Interview: Watson looks embarrassed as she waits in the green room (opens in new tab) . Why? The ever-dependable Ross has just shown a clip of her in The Philosopher’s Stone . “I was about 10 years old,” a very-not-10-years-old Watson says once she’s seated herself on the couch.
Keeping up the fashionista image, she’s donning a giant pair of gold shoes that would make even Lady Gaga go green.
Hermione-esque Quote: “I missed so much school and it appealed to me that in the States you can study a really broad curriculum,” Watson says of continuing learning in America. Even Hermione doesn’t take her education this seriously.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
The Film: This is it. After 10 years, eight movies and billions of dollars, it all comes down to the this. The last in the Potter franchise, Deathly Hallows Part 2 has Harry finally confronting Voldemort in a battle to the death. But will he survive?
Book readers already know what happens, but that won’t lessen the impact of seeing the story play out on screen. The magnitude of the series’ close isn’t lost on Watson – she cried her way through the film’s premiere last week. Bless.
Clever Clogs: Hermione poses as Bellatrix Lestrange (thanks to a little Polyjuice) in order to gain access to Gringotts and another Horcrux.
Junket Interview 2010
The Interview: It’s been over a decade, and Emma’s still answering the same boring questions (opens in new tab) (here, was she a fan of the books before she got the part etc).
Evidently it's all got too much for the young actress, who becomes so bored with her interviewer's line of questioning (we assume) that she dissolves into a fit of irrepressable giggles. (That, or she suddenly realised she looks daft in that jumper.) Unprofessional? Sort of. But really funny as well.
Hermione-esque Quote: “I’m excited for our friendship to develop post- Potter ,” Watson says in a manner not unlike the bushy-haired one herself.
My Week With Marilyn (2011)
The Film: Watson's already looking toward a Potter -less future. For now, that future involves My Week With Marilyn , a British drama from Simon Curtis that follows the making of The Prince And Me , the 1957 film that starred Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier.
Watson plays Lucy, a lovestruck young wardrobe assistant. After Marilyn , she has The Perks Of Being A Wallflower in production, due for release in 2012.
Clever Clogs: Watson could have done anything post- Potter , but taking on a small role in a high-profile film alongside the likes of Michelle Williams, Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh is a smart way to go. We can’t wait to see what she does next.