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Emma Watson was only 9 years old when her life drastically changed. Overnight, she went from being a regular kid to being one of the biggest child stars on the planet. The English actor managed to beat out thousands for the role of Hermione Granger. She would go on to portray “the brightest witch of the age” for over a decade and star in all eight Harry Potter movies.

Though Watson has found some semblance of privacy these days, at the height of the Harry Potter obsession, she was constantly in the spotlight. Given her wealth, access, and freedom most people expected her to have a wild or rebellious streak. However, she somehow emerged from the film franchise without any serious scandals. Unlike other child stars, the Brown University alum wasn’t prone to excessive partying, drinking, or doing drugs.

Harry Potter alum Emma Watson in a black dress as the 'Little Women' premiere
‘Hary Potter’ alum Emma Watson | Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Emma Watson explains that she developed a fear of drugs at a young age

But how did Watson manage to stay so straight-laced? In an interview with GQ UK, the Bling Ring actor revealed that she understood very early on that drugs could lead to her downfall. She may have been young when she was cast in Harry Potter, but she had the maturity of someone far beyond her years.

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“I remember the first day that I got the part, the newspapers were filled with: OK, these are the three chosen kids, let’s look at the track records of other child stars and let’s see how they fared,” Watson remembered. “There was story after story of drugs, alcohol problems, whatever. I think I was terrified to try drugs because I had been conditioned to believe that this would be my downfall if I tried drugs.”

The ‘Harry Potter’ alum wasn’t personally interested in recreational drugs or excessive drinking

Continuing on, Watson shared that her fear kept her from even dabbling in drugs occasionally. Furthermore, drugs never really held a ton of appeal for her on a personal level. Naturally, those two things combined made it easy for her to make the decision to stay away from them.


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“It seemed like such an obvious thing not to do, not to go down that route,” Watson shared. “There were just so many examples, example after example after example. I think I was afraid. It just didn’t seem like a clever idea to experiment too much when I’d read all these stories as a kid about child actors who went crazy over drugs and alcohol. But I suppose the real answer is that I have just never been very curious about them.”

Watson beat the child star stigma

Clearly, Waston’s decision worked out very well for her. She’s been able to transition from child star to a successful actor, activist, and businesswoman. Had she chosen to try out a different lifestyle, the trajectory of her life might be very different today.