Emma Watson is possibly one of the most beloved and admired actors of her generation. Indeed, she was even an integral part of many childhoods though her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies from 2001 to 2011. But she also turned out to be more than a Hollywood starlet; as she grew up, in fact, she threw herself into important campaign work for women’s rights. Yet even though, thanks to the media, we know virtually her every move, there’s still some tidbits about Watson that even avid fans may struggle to recall. Take these 20, for example…
20. She very nearly quit being Hermione
It’s fair to say that the last three Harry Potter movies could potentially have been very different indeed. Why? Well, after Order of the Phoenix, Watson considered quitting her role as Hermione Granger simply because life on the set was so difficult and regimented. “I get told what time I can eat, when I have time to go to the bathroom,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2010. “Every single second of my day is not in my power.” Thankfully, however, she stuck with it.
19. She’s a certified yoga instructor
Emma Watson is a big fan of yoga. She’s such a big fan, in fact, that she even became a qualified yoga teacher at the tender age of 23, having quite impressively found time to train in between making blockbusters. “I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself. Because I can never rely on a physical place,” she explained about her passion in a 2014 interview with Elle.
18. She made it onto a Time 100 list
Emma Watson’s work with the UN and the women’s rights campaign HeForShe has won her a lot of praise. In 2015, moreover, she was even given the accolade of a place on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for her efforts. “Emma Watson’s alter ego Hermione Granger would doubtless approve of her HeForShe campaign and its gutsy, smart take on feminism,” read the magazine’s tribute to her.
17. People once slammed her for a dyed-pink dog
Watson was accused of animal cruelty in 2012 when pictures emerged of her walking a bright pink dog. As it turned out, however, there was a perfectly reasonable explanation. “Just to clarify one more time that I don’t have a dog. @PinkDarcyDog is pink because her owner is raising money for breast cancer,” Watson tweeted. And the vegetable dye used was pet-friendly too.
16. She ascribes to a “universalist” faith
While promoting the 2014 film Noah, Watson was asked about her own religious beliefs. As she told The Daily Telegraph, though, she deems herself to be “more spiritual than specifically religious.” In addition, she explained that, prior to the film, “I had a sense that I believed in a higher power, but that I was more of a universalist. I see that there are these unifying tenets between so many religions.”
15. She had a soft spot for Tom Felton
Yes, that’s right – in real life Hermione chose not to lust after Harry or Ron, but the scheming Draco Malfoy played by Tom Felton. “Between the ages of ten and 12 I had a really terrible crush on Tom Felton,” Watson told British chat show host Jonathan Ross in 2012, adding that she had appreciated that he “was a few years older and had a skateboard.” Alas, though, her romantic feelings weren’t reciprocated.
14. She spent her early life in Paris
Emma Watson might often be described as an “English rose,” but she was actually born in Paris, France. However, her parents – both lawyers – divorced when Watson was five, and she subsequently relocated to Oxfordshire with her mother. What’s more, Watson can even speak a little French and has said that she’d love to do a French film one day. She has admitted, though, that she’d need to brush up on the language beforehand.
13. She was threatened after delivering her UN speech
Just 12 hours after Watson made her speech about gender equality at the UN Headquarters in 2014, she was threatened online by trolls. But while this upset her and her family terribly, Watson nevertheless continued her work. In fact, in a speech at Facebook’s London headquarters in 2015, she said, “If anything, if they were trying to put me off it, it did the opposite.” Now there’s a true Gryffindor.
12. She dedicated an award to her dead hamster
Clearly, Watson is a bit of an animal lover, too. For example, when receiving a Britannia Award in 2014, she shared a touching story about Millie. Millie was her pet hamster, who died during the production of the first Harry Potter film and was laid to rest in a tiny coffin purpose built by the film’s prop team. “Rest in peace, Millie. This one’s for you,” Watson added in tribute at the ceremony.
11. She tried out eight times for her Potter role
Watson had only school plays and no feature films under her belt when she auditioned for the role of Hermione. As a result, then, the nine-year-old ended up auditioning no fewer than eight times for the first movie, finally winning the part when it turned out she was the favorite of author J.K. Rowling. And the rest, as they say, is history…
10. She left special presents for London commuters
Ever found yourself hopelessly bored on the morning commute? Well, Emma Watson may have you covered! In 2016, and in a very Belle-like move, she placed several copies of Maya Angelou’s Mom & Me & Mom around the London Underground. And she also Instagrammed herself doing it, too! Hopefully, then, the generous act may even have inspired some reluctant readers.
9. She fell ill on the set of Noah
The filming of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah wasn’t a lot of fun for the cast and crew. The director banned plastic water bottles on set, for one, citing the film’s environmental ethos. And as a consequence, Watson ended up sick and dehydrated. In return, though, Aronofsky asked her to use her illness for dramatic effect. Enforced method acting, perhaps?
8. She once took a vow of silence
Many people just change their Facebook status whenever they’re having relationship trouble, but Watson went one further. After her break-up with Oxford rugby player Matt Janney, for example, she went to a private facility in the Rocky Mountains where participants must keep quiet at all times. Furthermore, she managed to keep her vow of silence for a whole week.
7. Her co-stars both crushed on her
There were a raging mess of hormones behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies, apparently. And even among its central trio, there were romantic tensions. “[Emma’s] quite popular with the cast,” Rupert Grint told FHM in 2009. “As for who has the worst crush on her – me or [Daniel] Radcliffe – I’d rather not say.”
6. She even inspired Malala Yousafzai
When the young activist Malala Yousafzai met Watson after her UN speech, it proved a truly inspirational moment. “I hesitated in saying, am I feminist or not?” Yousafzai told Watson. “Then after hearing your speech I decided there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist.” And, unsurprisingly, Watson was very moved by this.
5. She’s worth a whopping $70 million
Emma Watson isn’t even in her 30s yet, and she’s already richer than most people could ever dream of. Thanks to her Harry Potter work, in fact, her net worth is an incredible $70 million. And to put that into perspective, mega-famous reality TV star Kylie Jenner is only worth $20 million. We wouldn’t blame Watson, then, if she decided on an early retirement to enjoy all that cash…
4. She was once a spokesmodel for a skin lightening cream
In 2013 Emma Watson appeared in adverts for what would become a rather controversial product: a Lancôme “skin lightening” cream. After she became involved in politics, then, people were quick to remark on the move and reflect on what it said about Watson, seeing as such creams are usually sold to black and Asian markets. Watson’s reps stepped in, however, to announce that their client “no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women.”
3. She was trolled over her tribute to Alan Rickman
In 2016 Watson’s Harry Potter co-star Alan Rickman sadly passed away from cancer. And like many other Potter actors, Watson shared tributes to him on Twitter – one of them being a quote of Rickman discussing feminism. Unfortunately, though, people instantly accused her of pushing an “agenda” and called her an “idiot” into the bargain, even though Rickman was a feminist himself.
2. She joined a “laughing campaign”
In 2014 Turkish politician Bülent Ar?nç made comments about how women shouldn’t be seen laughing in public. But Turkish women, and the wider world, weren’t going to accept that. And so a campaign started in which women uploaded pictures of themselves laughing in public – Watson, moreover, happily joined in.
1. She has a subscription to an adult website
In a 2016 interview with fellow feminist Gloria Steinem, Watson revealed she had a subscription to the website OMGYES. And that site is, let’s just say, a little racy; it not only explores female pleasure techniques but features videos and tutorials about the female organs and how to get in touch with your sexuality as a woman. Now that’s a long way away from Harry Potter.