You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emma Watson: Works like a charm

Youth Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Kids

Impact: Spent the last decade playing Hermione Granger in the hit Harry Potter franchise.
Next: Attempts her first non-Potter starring role in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Causes: Camfed

From moment one, Emma Watson was Hermione Granger. “From the very first screen test, she was the one person everyone — the studio, the producers — agreed was Hermione. There really wasn’t any discussion,” says Chris Columbus, director of the first two “Harry Potter” films.

And for an actress who’d never appeared onscreen before, “She seemed to carry with her a sense of professionalism, almost as if she’d been doing it for several years,” Columbus recalls. “She had a maturity about her that gave her an ease as an actress.”

Popular on Variety

Now, eight films and several broken box office records later (the last film achieved a high-water $169 million opening weekend), Watson is leaving the world of “Harry Potter” and venturing into more grounded, greenscreen-less territory. And the Muggle world is more than happy to snatch her up.

In addition to a small part in “My Week With Marilyn,” she just wrapped the lead in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The book adaptation, which co-stars Logan Lerman, takes place at a typical Pennsylvania high school — a far cry from the Hogwarts set where Watson was tutored.

As the actress recently told the New York Times, she prepared for the role by emailing all her friends to ask about their time in high school. Her first prom took place on the set of the film.

But Columbus thinks she’s more prepared than she might realize. “Over the last few films, she really had that level of adolescent complexity — where a lot of your emotions are bubbling to the surface,” he says. “That’s going to be a wonderful transitional thing to carry over to ‘Perks.’ ”

More Voices

  • Adam Sandler'Uncut Gems' film premiere, Arrivals,

    NBR Spreads the Love: Does Adam Sandler Get an Oscar Boost With His Best Actor Win?

    Less than 24 hours after “Marriage Story” swept the Gotham Awards with four wins, it failed to snag any major prize Tuesday from the National Board of Review. However, the Noah Baumbach divorce drama did land on the NBR’s top ten film list. Meanwhile, NBR’s top honor went to “The Irishman.” What does this mean [...]

  • Noah Baumbach, Adam Driver, and Laura

    'Marriage Story's' Big Night at Gotham Awards Could Mean More Oscar, Golden Globe Traction

    “Marriage Story” just took another giant step down the aisle to the Oscars. While the Gotham Awards aren’t always a precursor of what’s to come at the Academy Awards, Monday night’s “Marriage Story” sweep of four wins at the Independent Filmmakers Project’s annual awards gala should provide even more momentum for the Netflix title. “Marriage [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez stars in HUSTLERS

    Spirit Awards: Jennifer Lopez Picks Up Oscar Steam, but What Happened to 'Waves'?

    Jennifer Lopez is one step closer to getting an Oscar nomination. J.Lo received her second Film Independent Spirit Award nomination this morning for best supporting female for STX’s “Hustlers.” Awards buzz began building for Lopez as soon as the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September. While Regina King won both the Spirit [...]

  • billy eichner Lion King

    Why Vocal Performances in Animated Films Deserve Their Own Oscars Category

    Given all the praise heaped on Billy Eichner’s performance this year as the wisecracking meerkat Timon in Jon Favreau’s remake of “The Lion King,” which grossed $1.6 billion worldwide, you’d think he would be a bigger contender in the Oscar conversation. His work was such a standout, he even upstaged Beyoncé’s much-hyped appearance in the [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Irishman BTS

    Will Martin Scorsese's Marvel Comments Hurt 'The Irishman's' Oscar Chances?

    “What a snob!” So said an Academy member when I asked about Martin Scorsese’s recent New York Times opinion piece in which he doubled down on his criticism of Marvel movies. The Oscar winner became director non grata among superhero fans last month for telling Empire magazine that Marvel Cinematic Universe films are “not cinema.”  [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content