Tragic Details About Emma Watson

In addition to being a talented actor, Emma Watson is an activist, philanthropist, and all around role model. The "Harry Potter" star has worked hard to use her platform for the greater good, whether that's educating the public on humanitarian issues via her HeforShe campaign or encouraging her fans to pursue a deeper education — she has a feminist book club because she's just that cool, y'all.

The "Beauty and the Beast" actor was born in 1990. As a child, she attended a theater school and appeared in stage productions, and her first professional gig was a little flick called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Suffice to say, her life was changed forever when she tried out for the part of Hermione Granger. And while most people would kill to be in her shoes, Watson has opened up time and time again about how uncomfortable she feels being in the public eye, as well as the various obstacles she's overcome over the years. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most tragic details about the "Harry Potter" alum. 

Emma Watson's family struggled financially

As of 2022, Emma Watson has a reported net worth of $85 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She is estimated, according to the website, to have made $70 million from the "Harry Potter" franchise, and $15 million from her starring role in the "Beauty and the Beast" reboot. (Not to mention she is reportedly the sixth highest-paid female actor on the planet.) Yet despite having enough money to comfortably get by for a lifetime, things weren't always so cushy for the "Perks of Being a Wallflower" star.

In a behind the scenes interview for the "Harry Potter" DVD set, Watson shared that her family struggled financially for a spell when she was growing up. In fact, money was so tight at one point, that her birthday presents were supplies for the costly school she attended. "My dad really couldn't afford to send me to this school," she recounted. "At the time we just didn't have the money." Watching the effort that her father put into making sure she could attend the institution was enough to keep her focused and dedicated to her studies. "I worked hard every single day that I was at that school to make him proud of me, and for him to know that I appreciated it," she revealed. "And I do, and I still do."

Fame made Emma Watson feel 'disconnected'

When Emma Watson found out she was going to be playing the role of Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" series, she was over the moon. Although she was only nine years old when she got cast, she was fiercely independent from the start.

As Watson told GQ in 2013, "My parents didn't chaperone me. I think that was a key difference between me and Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint]. I didn't have my parents with me; I didn't have a family member." Her mom and dad could not travel around with her as she jetted from one location to the next because, even after their daughter landed a main role in one of the biggest movie franchises ever, they kept their jobs.  "As my parents were divorced and they both worked full time, I had to grow up quickly," she said. "I guess it made me quite a serious young person."

Growing up in the spotlight and away from her family was not easy on Watson. "There's been moments when everything just got so big, where I almost had vertigo on my own life," she said in an interview with British Vogue. "And it's got so big I felt disconnected." She went on to tell the outlet that there were moments when she felt such a disconnect that she would question how she fit in with her own family. 

She feels bad about her relationship with fame

Some celebrities thrive in the spotlight and take great pleasure in being showered with attention. And while many of us dream about fame and fortune, Emma Watson has not been a fan of the attention. And she feels bad that she isn't a fan of the attention. "I've sat in therapy and felt really guilty about it," she told British Vogue. "I'm like why me, somebody else would have enjoyed and wanted this aspect of it more than I did. And I've struggled a lot with the guilt around that. I'm like, I should be enjoying this a lot more, I should be more excited and I'm actually really struggling."

Watson played Hermione Granger in all eight "Harry Potter" films, but as she shared in HBO Max's "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts," she nearly bowed out after filming "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Per People, she told co-star Rupert Grint, "I don't know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point where you were like, 'This is kind of forever now.'" 

The "Harry Potter" reunion was not the first time she'd touched on her desire to exit the series once and for all. "I was finding this fame thing was getting to a point of no return," Watson told Vanity Fair in 2017. "I sensed if this was something I was ever going to step away from it was now or never."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The 'structure' of Harry Potter was a lot

Emma Watson spent about a decade of her life making "Harry Potter" movies. And while some may assume that she had a totally magical experience, it sounds like she didn't always enjoy being tied to the franchise. "I felt like a prisoner of Hogwarts during the Harry Potter films," she once said, according to the Daily Mail. "And I nearly quit at 16." She did not quit, but she was ready to move on once the series reached its conclusion. "I have such a structure when I'm working on 'Potter,'" she said in a 2010 interview with Entertainment Weekly (via MTV News). "I get told what time I get picked up. I get told what time I can eat, when I have time to go to the bathroom."

There were also rules regarding changes she might make to her appearance, including any drastic haircuts. So, as she told Marie Claire, she decided to celebrate the end of her Hogwarts era by chopping off all her hair into an adorable, easy to manage pixie cut. "It was quite symbolic for me," she said. "It's really liberating that I can walk out without thinking about it." Hermione Granger? More like Hair-mione Great hair.

Emma Watson was grossly sexualized by the media

Almost right away, Emma Watson's experience in the spotlight was different than that of "Harry Potter" co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint — especially the disgusting and inappropriate way she was sexualized. In a 2014 interview with the AP, Radcliffe brought up a conversation he had with someone who said it was "unconventional" that he went from "Harry Potter" to romantic lead. He recalled, "My immediate response was, 'The male population has had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately.'"

He wasn't exaggerating. "I remember on my 18th birthday I came out of my birthday party and photographers laid down on the pavement and took photographs up my skirt, which were then published on the front of the English tabloid [newspapers] the next morning," Watson revealed while speaking to Forest Whitaker during her HeforShe campaign, per Marie Claire. "If they had published the photographs 24 hours earlier they would have been illegal, but because I had just turned 18 they were legal."

Because Watson has experienced so much sexism as a young woman in the industry, she now uses her platform to educate people about feminism and equal opportunities for women. In 2014, Watson launched her HeforShe initiative, which strives for gender equality across the globe. 

She felt 'lonely' while making Harry Potter

While filming the "Harry Potter" series, Emma Watson struck up deep bonds with her cast mates — particularly with Tom Felton, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint. When Interview asked her back in 2009 if they hang out much outside of work, she replied, "I love them, but I need to see other friends off set. They're like my siblings now."

Even though she'd grown close to her fellow Hogwarts students over the years, there were times she felt like she was on an island. In "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts," she opened up about her experience being the female lead of the franchise. Per Entertainment Weekly, she said, "I could see that at times I was lonely." Her co-stars were quick to praise her for how she handled all of the pressure that was heaped on her over the years. "People definitely forget what she took on and how gracefully she did it," Felton said of her during the reunion. "Dan and Rupert had each other, I had my cronies, whereas Emma was not only younger, she was by herself."

Emma Watson has social anxiety

One might assume being a global star requires a certain level of social ease. However, there are many celebrities who are quite reserved and don't always feel comfortable at large events where they are expected to be "on" at all times. Emma Watson falls into the latter group of public figures. "The truth is that I'm genuinely a shy, socially awkward, introverted person," she professed to Wonderland. "At a big party, I'm like Bambi in the headlights."

This must be difficult for Watson, as she, you know, is more or less obligated to attend a number of cast parties and social gatherings throughout her career. Her preference for alone time doesn't come as much of a surprise, however, considering Watson has never been too much of a party girl. In an interview with Rookie, Watson shared that it took her a while to recognize that preferring staying in to going out is totally okay. "I had felt like, 'Oh my god, there must be something wrong with me, because I don't want to go out and do what all my friends want to do,'" she said. It turns out, she just needed to have some time to recharge. We feel ya, girl.

She had an identity crisis on the red carpet

Emma Watson had something along the lines of an out-of-body experience while attending red carpet premieres for "Harry Potter." As she told Vanity Fair, she remembered standing in front of a mirror various events only to feel as if she was looking at a stranger. Watson recalled, "I had on so much makeup and these big, fluffy, full-on dresses. I'd put my hands on the sink and look at myself in the mirror and say, 'who is this?' I didn't connect with the person who was looking back at me, and that was a very unsettling feeling."

In a chat with British Vogue, Watson talked about grappling with being a celebrity as well as being forever linked to a beloved fictional character. She touched on a phenomenon that actors like Mark Hamill and Kit Harington can surely relate to. "I played a symbol," she said, noting that Hermione and "Emma Watson" have become one in the same for a lot of people — and that can be a lot to take on.  "Even people that are really close to me sometimes can't let it go. Or see just me," she explained. "I'm just as human as you are. I'm just as insecure as you are. I struggle just as much as you struggle." Never forget that even incredibly famous and successful stars struggle.

Emma Watson's struggles with self-esteem

Lest anyone assume confidence issues don't impact stunning A-listers, the actor who was picked to play the "beauty" in "Beauty and the Beast" has dealt with self-esteem issues. As Emma Watson told Esquire UK, "I, as a 21-year-old, was riddled with insecurity and self-critiquing. ... I realised that I didn't like friends taking photos of me when I wasn't working and I actually got in a fight about this issue." And her insecurities began early on. Per Marie Claire, while chatting with Gloria Steinem at an event in 2016, she revealed that as a child, she did not like her eyebrows. Yes, as in her iconic eyebrows. 

In the aforementioned Esquire UK interview, Watson said that she had something of an epiphany and stopped picking herself apart every time she wasn't in full glam. "Ironically, it's probably made me more beautiful and more confident as a result because I'm not carrying that anxiety any more," she said. "I don't think it's weird any more that I don't look like myself on the cover of a magazine." She is only human, after all. (An exceptionally beautiful human, but still a human nonetheless.)

She dealt with anxiety about being single at the age of 30

Although Emma Watson now knows that it's perfectly fine to be single at any age, she has said that she dealt with a lot of stress over her relationship status (or lack thereof) when she hit 30. Yes, even though she'd already achieved so much by that milestone, the fear of inadequacy still loomed large. She told British Vogue in 2019, "If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you're not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you're still figuring things out...There's just this incredible amount of anxiety."

Rather than let the societal expectations bog her down, she embraced where she was at. "It took me a long time, but I'm very happy [being single]," she shared with British Vogue at the time. "I call it being self-partnered."

Evidently, her relationship status has changed. Per People, Watson has been linked to a businessman named Leo Robinton. According to the outlet, rumblings of a love connection started in April 2020, but they were first spotted out and about in October 2019. 

She received 'a series of threats' following a speech

Although Emma Watson has been able to use her platform to get her feminist message out to millions, she has also experienced a ton of hate and blowback. But like Hermione Granger, Watson had enough brains to know that this was bound to happen. Still, despite her awareness of the backlash she'd receive, it didn't make things any less easier for her.

It all kicked off after Watson gave her HeforShe speech in 2014, where she addressed issues regarding gender inequality. Two years later, she opened up about the intense response she received following that speech. According to Newsweek, the actor told a crowd at the 2016 One Young World summit, "My best hopes and my worst fears were confirmed all at once. I had opened Pandora's Box to a standing ovation and almost simultaneously a level of critique I had never experienced in my life, and the beginning of what would become a series of threats."

In a Facebook Q&A (via Daily Beast), Watson talked about how those threats did not make her want to quit her activism work. "If anything, it made me so much more determined," she said. "I was just raging. It made me so angry that I was just like, 'This is why I have to be doing this!'" Hermione would be so proud.