Emma Watson Reveals Which ‘Harry Potter’ Director ‘Made Us Step Up’

One of the benefits of being a part of the Harry Potter cast was working with different filmmakers. Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint worked with four different directors throughout the eight films. Chris Columbus set the foundation of the wizarding world with the first two films. Alfonso Cuarón helped the series gain an edgier, adult feel with the third movie. Mike Newell helped expand the world, giving the fourth film a more bombastic feel. Meanwhile, David Yates completed the series and ensured the final four films had a cohesive feel.

Harry Potter alums Tom Felton, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Matthew Lewis
‘Harry Potter’ cast members Tom Felton, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Matthew Lewis | Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Emma Watson got candid about working with the four ‘Harry Potter’ directors

Naturally, each director had a different style and a different way of working with the actors. With each filmmaker, the cast was asked to approach their work differently. However, one director really changed the expectations for the golden trio. In an interview with JoBlo, Watson got candid about exactly who that was.

“Well, it’s interesting,” Watson began. “I think working with different directors have signaled different [things]… Alfonso [Cuarón] wasn’t going to do any of the ‘kiddie directing’ stuff. He was like, ‘Get up there and do it.’ He didn’t have much patience for ‘yes wide, look terrified!’ He wasn’t going to do any of that, so he made us step up.”

Alfonso Cuarón gave the golden trio a homework assignment

One way that Cuarón encouraged Watson, Grint, and Radcliffe to step up was through a homework assignment. When he began working with them, he assigned them a paper so that he could get an understanding of who their characters were from their perspective. In a DVD interview for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Watson recalled this assignment.

“Basically Alfonso asked us to write an essay about who we thought our characters were, why they did the things they do,” Waston explained about the director. “Their backgrounds, their feelings, their thoughts, how they’ve changed in the first year of Hogwarts, and the second year of Hogwarts. And now they’re into the third year, how they feel.”

Watson didn’t seem to mind the extra work at all. In fact, she turned in a 16-page essay about her character, Hermione Granger. The Beauty and the Beast star has stated that she has a very heady approach to acting. So she enjoyed the opportunity to give Cuarón an in-depth look into Hermione’s head. And while the director forced her to step up her game, he remains one of her favorite people that she worked with throughout the Harry Potter movies.

Watson enjoyed working with Cuarón the most on the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

“Well, I shouldn’t say I have a favorite director—that wouldn’t be very diplomatic,” Watson shared with Interview Magazine. “But one of the people I enjoyed working with most was Alfonso Cuarón. I have a real thing for Mexican directors.” Clearly, Cuarón pushed the Harry Potter cast to a new place. And considering that’s when the series really began to turn, it was likely for the best.