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Before she was cast as Hermione Granger at 9, Emma Watson had a very normal childhood. While she’d done a few school plays prior to the Harry Potter movies, she was hardly considering a career in acting. Instead, she had a host of interests that included tennis, learning, and spending time at home with her family.

Watson may not have been sure about being a professional actor, but she was sure about playing Hermione. Like millions of others, she fell in love with the character via the books. She felt a deep affinity with the witch because they shared so many similarities. So, when the opportunity to audition for the role came about, she jumped at the chance.

Emma Watson looks right at home on the red carpet for the BAFTA awards as she looks over her shoulder
Emma Watson | TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

Emma Watson admits that there weren’t many movies in her childhood home

Funnily enough, Watson’s love of performing was far from inherited. Her parents both made a living as lawyers and were the furthest things from cinephiles. In fact, in an interview with GQ UK, Watson revealed that there were only a few movies in her home growing up.

“We had maybe four tapes in the whole of our house,” Watson explained. “My father doesn’t watch films, and I’d been taken to the theatre maybe twice on a school trip. I’d always enjoyed acting in school plays, but that just wasn’t an ambition that I really thought about.”

The ‘Harry Potter’ alum wasn’t sure if she wanted to pursue an acting career

Even after Watson landed the coveted role of Hermione, she wasn’t sure that acting was her path. This, of course, was in direct contrast with her fellow Harry Potter alum, Daniel Radcliffe, who was always sure of his path as a performer. In the aforementioned interview, the Noah actor explained what other career paths she considered outside of acting.

“I think when I was younger I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to act, so I played around with a few different ideas,” Watson shared. “I wasn’t sure whether I might want to write or whether I might want to do something in fashion. I wasn’t really focused in the same way that Dan was from the get-go. His parents [worked in the industry], he went to the theatre, he watched films, he was absolutely set from the beginning: ‘I’m going to be an actor.'”

Watson got more focused about acting after she finished playing Hermione Granger

Of course, Watson’s feelings of ambivalence about acting changed throughout the eight Harry Potter films. Eventually, she decided that it was the career path for her. And she was willing to forsake other passion projects to really give her acting career her full attention.


Emma Watson Explains How Her Parents Kept Her ‘Down to Earth’

“I guess how I’ve changed is that coming out of Potter I’ve become more focused,” Watson explained. “I’ve zoned in on what I actually want to do, which is act. Recently, particularly with my work for Lancôme, a lot of journalists ask, ‘Don’t you want to design a fashion line or your own perfume?’ I’ve kind of stepped away because I don’t want any other distraction.”