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Though “overnight celebrity” is a well-known term, in reality, not too many people just stumble into fame and success. Instead, many artists work tirelessly until they receive the big break that makes them a household name. However, Emma Watson is a perfect example of someone who became a huge celebrity practically overnight. At age 9, her entire life changed when she was cast in the beloved Harry Potter movies.

Emma Watson age 26 wears a red lip the Beauty and the Beast premiere
Emma Watson | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Emma Watson became a household name after she was cast in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

Unlike her fellow co-star, Daniel Radcliffe, Watson had no professional acting credits prior to being cast in Harry Potter. She’d done about three school plays before she landed the role of Hermione Granger and had a very normal childhood. However, her entire life changed as soon as it was announced that she’d landed the coveted part. Suddenly, The Bling Ring actor was receiving all types of press and media attention. She even had to temporarily move into a hotel after she was cast in Harry Potter because paparazzi were camped outside her home.

The movie star took the public bus until age 18

The media’s fascination with Watson only increased as she continued to age. However, Watson refused to let her celebrity status stop her from living a fairly normal life. In an interview with W Magazine, the Noah actor admitted that she even took public transportation for as long as she possibly could despite being one of the most recognizable faces on the planet.

“Up until the age of 18 I would take the Oxford tube, which is a public bus, up and down from London,” Watson admitted. “It got to the point where the fact that I was on the bus would spread from one end to the other and like it would just start to get totally crazy. And I would feel like ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’”

Watson eventually bought herself a very practical car instead of taking public transportation

Eventually, Watson gave up taking the tube and decided that driving herself around London would cause much less of a spectacle. She got her driver’s license and purchased herself a car using some of the money that she’d earned from the Harry Potter movies. But despite being a multimillionaire, Watson bought an atypical car for someone of her age and socioeconomic status.


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“I got my license last year, and I love the Prius, even if my friends say it’s ugly,” Watson revealed to Interview Magazine. “They say I drive a brick. And, to be fair, it’s not the prettiest car on the road, but it’s good for the environment. It’s sensible and boring—like me. I am the Prius of my peer group.”

What did Watson spend her ‘Harry Potter’ money on?

Watson’s practical Prius was actually her first big splurge with the money that she earned from Harry Potter. Her other big purchases included a computer and a father-daughter vacation. “I got myself a laptop,” Watson shared. “I took my dad to Tuscany. He works so hard, my dad, so I rang up his secretary and asked when he was free, and I booked us a holiday.”

Watson may have been famous and rich from a young age, but it seems she went through great lengths to retain some normalcy. However, it’s probably for the best that she gave up her penchant for riding around on public transportation.