Emma Watson is an English actress and activist. She is known for her roles in both blockbusters and independent films, as well as for her women’s rights work, and has received numerous accolades for her work. Let’s wish her a very Happy Birthday.
Emma Watson was born on 15 April 1990 in Paris, to English lawyers Chris Watson and Jacqueline Luesby. Watson lived in Maisons-Laffitte near Paris until age five. Her parents divorced when she was young, and Watson moved to England to live with her mother in Oxfordshire while spending weekends at her father’s house in London. From age six, she wanted to become an actress and trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing, and acting.
Emma came to film acting with the series of Harry Potter movies which were based on the best-selling novels by J. K. Rowling. The release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 was Watson’s debut screen performance. Watson was nominated for five awards for her performance in Philosopher’s Stone, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress. In the following years, she continued acting in The Harry Potter films and gained global attention.
Watson’s first non-Potter role was the 2007 BBC film Ballet Shoes, an adaptation of the novel of the same title by Noel Streatfield. The final two films of the Harry Potter franchise were released in November 2010 and July 2011 respectively. In September 2012, her movie ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ came out which was based on the book by Stephen Chbosky.
In the following years, Emma Watson starred in movies such as ‘The Bling Ring’, ‘Noah’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘The Circle’, ‘Little Women’ etc. She has also had an active modeling career.
Watson is an outspoken feminist. She has promoted education for girls, traveling to Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. In July 2014, she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. That September Emma Watson delivered an address at UN Headquarters in New York City to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which aims to urge men to advocate for gender equality. The speech made worldwide headlines from both major news outlets and fashion blogs; the organization’s website crashed after press coverage of the event.
Also in September, Emma Watson made her first country visit as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to Uruguay where she gave a speech highlighting the need for women’s political participation. In December, the MS Foundation for Women named Emma Watson its Feminist Celebrity of 2014, following an online poll. Emma also gave a speech about gender equality in January 2015, at the World Economic Forum’s annual winter meeting. In the same year, Watson was included on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In July 2019, Emma helped launch a legal helpline for people who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace. In the following years, she has been in the media for good causes. She supported the rights of Transgender people and supported the ‘Black Life Matters’ movement in 2020.
In March 2009, she was ranked sixth on the Forbes list of “Most Valuable Young Stars” and in February 2010, she was Hollywood’s highest-paid female star, having earned an estimated £19 million in 2009. In 2017, Forbes ranked her among the world’s highest-paid actresses, with annual earnings of $14 million. She has won many awards and accolades for her movies.
Emma Watson has often been cited as a role model. Her impact on teenage girls’ view of women’s rights has been referred to as the “Emma Watson effect”, with respondents from a National Citizen Service survey stating that her work in activism had inspired them to label themselves feminists.