10 Times Emma Watson Cast A Spell On Us

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock.
Emma Watson turns 26 today. We were first introduced to the lovely, charming Watson when she was selected at the age of 9 to play the role of Hermione Granger in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books.

Actually, it wasn’t that simple. The producers of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone traveled to schools all over England scouting for children who looked like Rowling’s already iconic characters. Watson was part of a group of 20 children between the ages of 9 and 12 at her school chosen to have her photograph taken and submitted to producers.

Landing the role of Hermione — the incredibly clever and driven witch who inspires many Potter fans to unabashedly be their true selves — took perseverance. Between that photo in the gym and the first day of shooting, “It was a long time — eight auditions,” Watson told Derek Blasberg in a 2009 Interview magazine profile. Watson had never acted professionally before and she found herself vying for the role opposite actresses who already had many credits to their names. Still, she was the one who landed the role.

The first Harry Potter movie came out in 2001 and the eighth — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — hit theaters in 2011. That’s a significant chunk of Watson’s life spent shooting and promoting Harry Potter movies. During that time, she became a global personality and came into her own, style-wise. She appeared on magazine covers, including Teen Vogue and British Vogue (twice). In 2009, Watson was named the face of Burberry. She became friends with Karl Lagerfeld, who even photographed her for Crash magazine.

Since saying goodbye to Harry Potter, Watson has appeared in a smattering of movies, such as 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and 2013’s The Bling Ring. Where she’s truly surprised and delighted the public, though, is through her accomplishments outside of acting.

Since it’s Watson’s 26th birthday, we’re celebrating the many times she's bewitched us with her grace, confidence, and inspiring actions. In honor of her most famous character’s magical abilities, here are 10 spells to celebrate Emma Watson’s special day.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Felicium Votas
Obviously, Watson needs a special spell to celebrate her 26 amazing years on this planet. Let’s conjure a delicious dessert for her with a birthday spell.
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Hermione Finitum
We first met Watson when she played Hermione Granger in the film adaptations of Harry Potter. The role took up most of her formative years — she spent the ages of 9 to 21 shooting and promoting the films — and when the last one was finished, Watson said that, “I’m just so unbelievably proud to have been part of this. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.” She also added that life post-Hogwarts would “be bizarre,” and that, “I’m going to be devastated.” Still, the final Harry Potter film marked the end of an era for Watson. “It puts a pretty nice punctuation mark on my adolescence. I feel grown-up now.”
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Alumnus Speramus
After finishing her role in Harry Potter, Watson decided to pursue a degree at Brown University. In September 2009, she arrived at at the Ivy League school to study literature. She spent her junior year studying at Oxford (and was named an Oxford university fellow in February 2016). In 2014, Watson celebrated her graduation from Brown by tweeting a photo of herself in her cap and gown.
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Eum Eius Aequalis
In recent years, Watson has become an outspoken advocate for gender equality. In September 2014, she launched the HeForShe campaign at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. As a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson works with U.N. Women to help empower females and promote gender equality all over the world. In her opening remarks about the HeForShe campaign, she notes that it’s not just women who need to take action, though. It’s also up to men.

“Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too,” Watson says in her speech. “We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence...If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Ab Femina Litero
In January, Watson announced on Twitter that she was starting a feminist book club. At the time, she was having trouble thinking of names for the club, but she has since dubbed the group “Our Shared Shelf.” Watson runs the club through Goodreads, so all you have to do to participate is register for an account (or sign in through Facebook) and comment. So far, Our Shared Shelf has read and discussed Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Watson is a certified level 3 yoga and meditation teacher. Ohm.
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Felina Gaudete
At one point, Watson owned two cats named Bubbles and Domino. This information hasn’t been updated in quite some time, so Bubbles and Domino may no longer be with us (just being a realist here). Someone made a Twitter account for Bubbles, but hasn’t tweeted since 2012.
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Ad Fontes
Watson wants to be a jack of all trades — and master them all. In 2010, she told Time that, “I could never really imagine myself doing one thing, and I'm pretty sure that I'll end up doing four or five different things. I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.”
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Pilorum Onus
Watson decided to do something drastic to mark the end of her Harry Potter years: She got a pixie cut. “I'd had my hair long for 10 years while I was playing Hermione. When I finished filming, I needed something different. I think I [waited] two or three weeks. You really have to be in a good frame of mind to do something so drastic to your appearance. When I was feeling very confident, I was like, I'm going to cut it off,” she told Time of the decision.
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Bel Pecularia
Watson’s next big role? A girl who’s most peculiar. She’s starring as Belle in the live adaptation of our favorite tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast, which arrives in theaters in March 2017.

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