While it may be cool for us to watch the best Emma Watson movies and see the starlet age before our very eyes — actually growing up over a number of years without the use of CG — for the former Harry Potter star, it hasn't always been easy.
For starters, she's a fairly private person, and to have been thrust in the middle of the media spotlight along with co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint definitely took a toll. The fandom could be overwhelming, and there was also the problem of stalkers. Several of them.
To reclaim a part of her life, when the Potter films finished their run after eight films, she immediately began focusing on her education before branching out into furthering her film career. Interestingly, the privacy she's sought has actually helped her in Hollywood.
"The three of us — Dan[iel Radcliffe], Rupert [Grint], and I — were kids when we got cast in this fairy-tale series," Emma told Interview in regards to the Harry Potter films, "and what happened to us was kind of a fantasy story in itself. Outside of the movies. So the story of my life has been of public interest, which is why I've been so passionate about having a private identity.
"When I step into a character, people have to be able to suspend their disbelief; they have to be able to divorce me from that girl," she continued. "And not having everyone know every single intimate detail of my entire life is part of me trying to protect my ability to do my job well. Generally, I've been fortunate, like when Sofia Coppola offered me a role in The Bling Ring, which was so wonderfully different. Artists have given me a lot of freedom; have been able to imagine me in other ways."
So far, Emma's biggest success outside of the world of Hogwarts has been in the live action version of Disney's Beauty And The Beast. Playing Belle, she admitted to Vanity Fair , in a sense completed a journey that began with Hermione Granger. "When I finished the film," she explained, "it kind of felt like I had made that transition into being woman on screen. Belle is absolutely a Disney princess, but she's not a passive character — she's in charge of her own destiny."
A quality in common with Emma Watson herself, as you'll see in this little guide to her film career that FHM has put together.