Emma Watson is most well-known for bringing to life one of Harry Potter’s most famous characters: Hermione Granger. Cast in one of the world’s most famous franchises at the age of 10, Watson was catapulted to international fame, where she has fared amazingly well for a child star turned film and fashion icon. For nearly 20 years, she has been gracing magazine covers, walking red carpets, and attracting the attention of fans from all over the globe.
It seems that the actress led most of her childhood in the spotlight, but there’s still a lot about Watson’s younger years that even the most hardcore Harry Potter fans aren’t aware of. Keep reading to find out 20 little-known facts about Emma Watson’s childhood.
20 She Wasn’t Born In England
Emma Watson is one of the world’s most famous British stars, but that doesn’t mean she was born in the United Kingdom. Actually, the actress was born in Paris on April 15, 1990. Her parents, who are both British, were living there at the time. So Watson was lucky enough to spend her earliest years in France.
19 She Spoke French As A Child
It should come as no shock, then, that Watson spoke French as a child. Even though she is still able to speak French proficiently now, she was essentially fluent as a child. That’s what living in France will get you! Interestingly, Watson went on to play the role of Belle, the French princess, in Beauty and the Beast.
18 She Wasn’t Born A Brunette Like Hermione
We tend to think of brown hair when we think of Emma Watson, just because most of us are used to seeing her with the brunette style that Hermione wore for eight years in the Harry Potter movies. But in actuality, Watson was born with blonde hair, which she often sports today.
17 Her Parents Weren’t Actors, But Lawyers
You might have thought that Watson inherited her vast acting talent from her parents. As it turns out, however, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson are lawyers, not actors. One thing is clear, though: Watson did inherit her parents’ intelligence! Her brother, Alex, is also an actor, so maybe the family does have the show business gene after all.
16 Her Parents Divorced When She Was Five
When Watson was just five years old, her parents divorced. After this, she moved back to England. It must have been a hard time for the young and impressionable Watson. But it was only a few years before she was cast as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, so she obviously didn’t let the experience bring her down.
15 Her Family Expanded To Include Step-Siblings
Emma Watson has one full brother, Alex, who’s also an actor and a model. But after her parents divorced, her family expanded to include step-siblings. Following the divorce, her father married Julie Watson. Emma Watson has two younger half-sisters, Lucy and Nona, and a younger half-brother, Toby.
14 She Didn’t Live With Her Father
After Watson’s parents divorced, she moved to Oxfordshire with her mother and her brother. Although she didn’t live with her father, she still spent lots of time with him and sometimes stayed with him in his home in London. She recently returned to London and shared a lunch with her father.
13 She Won A Poetry Competition At The Age Of Seven
We already know that Emma Watson is a talented actress and extremely intelligent. But as it turns out, she might have a talent for poetry. According to Biography, at the tender age of seven, Watson won a poetry competition. She recited ‘The Sea’ by James Reeves, which led her to begin performing in school plays.
12 She Participated In Plenty Of Extra-Curricular Activities
Emma Watson showed enormous potential for the arts from a young age. That doesn’t mean that she slacked off from all her other childhood activities, though. In addition to her schoolwork, she also participated in a range of extra-curricular activities. These included being part of the dance team and playing hockey.
11 She Went To A School For Theatre Arts
Knowing that she wanted to be an actress from a young age, Watson attended the Stagecoach Theatre Arts school at their Oxford branch, which was located close to her home in England. The part-time theatre school gave Watson the tools she needed to learn how to sing, dance, and act professionally.
10 Harry Potter Was Her First Professional Acting Job
Watson trained at the Stagecoach school, but her first professional acting job didn’t come until she was cast as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. As we now know, the role launched Watson to the global stage and set up her life in terms of career and financial success.
9 J.K. Rowling Herself Wanted Watson To Play Hermione
There was a very influential presence at the auditions for Harry Potter who advocated for Watson winning the part of Hermione. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, wanted Watson to be involved after seeing her audition. She couldn’t think of anyone better to play her beloved character.
8 But It Took More Than One Audition For Her To Land The Part
Even though the force of J.K. Rowling was behind Watson, she still didn’t win the part of Hermione in one go. After her theatre teachers recommended her to casting agents, she actually had to audition eight times before she convinced the filmmakers that she had what it takes to bring a character like that to life.
7 Her Hamster Died While Filming The First Harry Potter Movie
Although filming the first Harry Potter movie would have been the experience of a lifetime for Watson, not all the memories are positive. During the filming of the first film, Watson’s pet hamster Millie sadly passed away. In 2014, she dedicated a Britannica Award to Millie, whose death greatly affected her.
6 She Crushed On Co-Star Tom Felton
Harry Potter fans are divided on whether or not Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley really do make a good couple. But all fans agree that Hermione is definitely not meant for Draco Malfoy. Real life is a different matter, however. In real life, Watson had a crush on co-star Tom Felton, who played Draco.
5 She Received Critical Acclaim When She Was Still A Teenager
As the years go on, Watson continues to earn accolades for her acting talent, but her performances were achieving critical acclaim before she reached adulthood. One New York Times review in 2004 claimed that Watson’s performance “earns the loudest applause …” Reviews like this revealed Watson’s huge acting potential for the future.
4 She Was Tutored On The Set
Because Harry Potter took up most of Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint’s adolescence, the actors were tutored on set for up to five hours a day. Watson was determined not to let her education suffer, even if she was already in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.
3 She Did Well In Her Exams, Despite Not Going To High School
Just like her character Hermione, Watson performed very well academically. Even though she didn’t go to a real high school, she still took high school equivalency exams in 10 subjects. With eight A+ grades and two A grades, she was well on her way to an even brighter future by the time 2007 came around.
2 She Once Considered Leaving The Harry Potter Franchise
We really can’t imagine anyone else ever playing the role of Hermione Granger, but this could have been a reality we all had to face. After filming the fifth Harry Potter movie, Watson considered leaving the franchise for good. Luckily, she decided to see the films out to the very end.
1 She Was The Youngest Person To Ever Appear On The Cover Of Teen Vogue
She’s not yet 30, but Emma Watson has already achieved so much in her life. On top of all her other achievements, the actress was the youngest person at the time to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue at the age of 15 in 2005. Since then, she’s gone on to grace the cover quite a few more times!
Sources: Vogue, Today, Business Insider, Cinema Blend, Hollywood Gossip