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Emma Watson wasn’t always sure that she wanted to be a professional actor. However, she never doubted that she was meant to portray Hermione Granger. The activist fell in love with the character on long car rides when her dad read the Harry Potter books to her. So, when she learned that the beloved novels were being adapted for the big screen, she fought tooth and nail to secure the role of a lifetime.

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
‘Harry Potter’ stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint | Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Emma Watson portrayed Hermione Granger for 10 years

Though Watson initially only signed up for two Harry Potter movies, she would eventually star in all eight. Though she considered quitting the franchise a time or two, Watson stuck it out until the very end. The Brown University alum would devote an entire decade of her life to filming and promoting the blockbuster films. Over time, her persona and Hermione’s personality seemed to get enmeshed with one another.

The Brown University alum can’t get away from her ‘Harry Potter’ past

Though Harry Potter ended more than a decade ago, Hermione remains Watson’s most popular role. Even when the actor is promoting new projects, Harry Potter is almost always mentioned. However, Watson seems to have made her peace with this. In an interview with Rookie Mag, the activist admitted that sometimes she feels that people define her by her role. However, that wasn’t going to cause her to try to run away from the character that made her famous.

“I’m not complaining, because people really have given me permission to evolve and have been very supportive of my work outside of Harry Potter,” Watson began. “So I don’t feel too suffocated in that sense. But sometimes I’ve felt a little constrained by that idea of who I’m meant to be. Every article that’s published about me has some reference to Hogwarts or Hermione or magic or ‘What would Harry and Ron say?'”

Watson feels it would be dumb to fight against the role that made her a household name

Continuing on, Watson shared that she would never try to distance herself from Hermione. “But I just can’t allow myself to get frustrated by that, because I’m really proud to have been part of Harry Potter and proud of the work that I did on those movies,” she explained. “And it’s understandable—you can’t expect people to adjust their expectations overnight. I think it would be stupid to try and fight it too much.”


Emma Watson Reveals She’s Actually ‘The Black Sheep’

While Watson may not be fighting against Harry Potter, she’s certainly taken on roles that challenge fans’ ideas of her. One role, in particular, that stands out was her portrayal of Nicki in The Bling Ring. In the film, Watson portrayed a teenager who (along with friends) robbed thousands of dollars worth of designer merchandise from the homes of celebrities. Watson’s character also was fond of sneaking into clubs and using her sexuality as a weapon. Watson even took pole dancing classes to prepare for the role. Watson may not be fighting against her Harry Potter past, but she certainly seems to have taken on roles that are great foils to Hermione.