Emma Watson: Acting, Modelling, And Activism

The inimitable Emma Watson has been an inspiring and influential figure since she starred in her first film. Her success means that she is not only an icon and public figure, but she also has the power to change women's lives for the better.

Emma Charlotte du Watson is a 31-year-old actress, activist, and model, who was born in Paris and grew up in Oxfordshire England. Watson rose to fame after her role as Hermione Granger in J.K. rowling’s film series Harry Potter which was the first professional role that made her the focus of film producers who noted her capability in bringing characters to life.

In 2015 she was ranked as one of the world’s most well-paid actresses by Vanity Faire magazine. She learned her skills on stage at the Oxford branch of Stage Coach Theatre Arts. After her 2001 debut role in the  Harry Potter, film franchise, Watson featured in the film adaptation of the novel ‘Ballet Shoes’, and she has also played as a flirtatious adolescent in ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’.

Watson’s part in this film was regarded as a great success by its critics and reviewers.  Her activism for women’s rights and fame means that she has been said to be in the world’s top 100 most influential people in 2015. Her performing prowess has been recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as she won an award for British Artist of the Year.

Passionate about her studies with a will to continue her education, Watson studied at Brown University between 2011 and 2014, graduating with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Her education, good looks, and acting ability mean that she rapidly rose to success as a child, and has since gone on to flourish in the arts and modeling industry.

Emma Watson's Early Years and Career

Watson was born in Paris; both her parents are lawyers and got divorced when Watson was 5 and her brother is 3 years older. Following her parent’s divorce, Watson and her brother Alex moved to Oxfordshire with their mother Jacqueline.

While attending the Stage Coach Theatre Arts school in Oxford, she studied acting, singing, and dancing, while she regularly performed in school plays. Her natural talent for acting was first recognised when she recited ‘The Sea’ by James Reeves at age 7 and consequently won the school poetry competition.

So impressed were her teachers at her natural ability on stage, she was recommended to agents planning to cast the first film adaptation of the best selling ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. Watson, therefore, completed a series of auditions for the role of Hermione Granger when she was just 9 years old, a role that lead to her becoming an international icon.

After auditioning, J.K. Rowling selected Watson for the part as she was inspired by Watson’s ability to remain true to the novel’s fictional character. Watson also impressed the film producers and directors, so won the role of one of the film’s protagonists.

The film made history as it made a record-breaking $33 million on the first day it was released in the US. After the film was released, it was nominated for 3 academy awards and 7 Bafter awards, and Watson attracted widespread support which finalised her status as an up-and-coming star.

Despite starring in all 8 of the Harry Potter films, Watson kept up with her education and insisted that she wanted to take it further. Watson describes her involvement in the series as being kept in a bubble, which she gradually worked to find a way through to cement her own personal image separate from the films.    

Emma Watson's Education and Modelling

Watson’s early career lead her to catch the attention of major figures in the fashion industry, as her style was unique and attractive. She once told Team Vogue that she loves fashion because it is representative of how people want to show themselves to the outside world.

Watson announced in 2009 that she was working with fairtrade promoting the fashion label  People Tree. Watson was chosen as the face of Burberry’s autumn-winter 2009 collection which heightened her recognition by fashion and modelling organisations.    

She chose to study at Brown University in the US, stating that she chose to educate herself in America rather than England because their education system allows for many subject areas to be studied at once. Watson chose to study in Brown providence because she believed it was an ideal place for her to easily blend into normal university life, separate from her activities in the public spotlight.

Therefore studying in Rohde island allowed her to remain committed to her education while maintaining her anonymity. Watson declared in 2012 that she would defer her final year at university to star in the final Harry Potter film, which cemented her status as a well-established actress at the age of 22.

In August 2010 Watson surprised her fans by cutting her hair shorter, which is symbolic of her ambition to separate her identity from her film presence as a teenager.

Activist Emma Watson

Playing the part of Hermione Granger presented Watson as a feminist, as the character is strong-willed, inspiring, and courageous. This made Watson become something of a feminist icon by default, however in the years since the final film she has made a more deliberate effort to advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.

In 2014 Emma Watson was selected as a United Nations [UN] goodwill ambassador in the same year Watson began her he for she campaign, which encouraged men to join the fight against women’s oppression and patriarchy. This movement had the affect of eleviating the focus on women to stand for their rights as it encouraged the whole of society to adopt gender equality.

This had the implication of changing the mindset of male-dominated labour markets and public spaces, to be inclusive and integrate women into social life. In turn, this helps to abolish patriarchy, oppression and goes some way to reducing crimes against women.  

Emma Watson championed this campaign in partnership with the UN, with the ultimate goal of this is to achieve equality by encouraging everyone to participate as stakeholders to reduce the negative labelling of women. As a consequence of her contribution to the - he for she campaign, Watson has reached several significant milestones on the road to gender equality.

She started her humanitarian work as a teenager and the supervative figure went on to voice her views on women’s rights. Over the last 5 years, she has dedicated her time to improving the lives of women across the globe and has fearlessly tried to empower women to fight for their own justice.

Emma Watson - Actor and activist
image source: dmcdn
I am studying Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. I am a keen runner and am interested in politics and the Middle East.

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