Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is a British actress who rose to prominence playing Hermione Granger, one of three starring roles in the Harry Potter film series. Watson was cast as Hermione at the age of nine, having previously only acted in school plays. From 2001 to 2009, she starred in six Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint; she will return for the final two installments: the two parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Watson's work on the Harry Potter series has earned her several awards and more than £10 million.
In 2007, Watson announced her involvement in two non-Harry Potter productions: the television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and an animated film, The Tale of Despereaux. Ballet Shoes was broadcast on 26 December 2007 to an audience of 5.2 million, and The Tale of Despereaux, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo, was released in 2008 and grossed over US $70 million dollars in worldwide sales.
Watson's extended family has grown as her divorced parents have both had children by new partners. Her father has identical twin girls, Nina and Lucy, and a four-year-old son, Toby. Her mother's partner has two sons (Watson's stepbrothers), who "regularly stay with her". Watson's full brother, Alexander, has appeared as an extra in two Harry Potter films, and her half-sisters were cast as the young Pauline Fossil in the BBC's Ballet Shoes adaptation.
After moving to Oxford with her mother and brother, Watson attended The Dragon School, an independent preparatory school, until June 2003 and then moved to Headington School, an independent school for girls, also in Oxford. While on film sets, Watson and her peers were tutored for up to five hours a day; despite the focus on filming she maintained high academic standards. In June 2006, Watson took GCSE examinations in 10 subjects, achieving eight A* and two A grades; she was a target of friendly ridicule on the Harry Potter set because of her straight-A exam results. She received A grades in her 2008 A level examinations in English Literature, Geography and Art, and in her 2007 AS (advanced subsidiary) level in History of Art.
After leaving school, Watson took a gap year to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows beginning in February 2009, but said she "definitely want[ed] to go to university". Despite numerous contradictory news stories, some from highly-reputable sources, claiming that she would 'definitely' attend Trinity College, Cambridge, Columbia University, Brown University or Yale University, Watson was reluctant to publicly commit to any one institution, saying that she would announce her decision first on her official website. In interviews with Jonathan Ross and David Letterman in July 2009, she confirmed that she was planning to study liberal arts in the United States, saying that – having missed so much school as a child for filming – the "broad curriculum" of American higher education appealed to her more than British universities, "where you have to just choose one thing to study for three years". In July 2009, after a second storm of rumour, The Providence Journal reported that Watson had "grudgingly admitted" that she had chosen Brown University, located in Providence, Rhode Island. Watson defended her attempts to avoid announcing her choice of university – accidentally slipped by Daniel Radcliffe and producer David Heyman, during interviews publicising the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and finally confirmed in September 2009 after the university's academic year had started – saying that she "want[ed] to be normal... I want to do it properly, like everyone else. As long as I don’t walk in and see Harry Potter posters everywhere, I’ll be fine".
Watson's work in the Harry Potter series has earned her more than £10 million, and she has acknowledged she will never have to work for money – in March 2009 she was ranked 6th on the Forbes list of "Most Valuable Young Stars". However, she has declined to leave school to become a full-time actress, saying "People can’t understand why I don’t want to ... but school life keeps me in touch with my friends. It keeps me in touch with reality". She has been positive about working as a child actress, saying her parents and colleagues helped make her experience a positive one. Watson enjoys a close friendship with her fellow Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, describing them as a "unique support system" for the stresses of film work, and saying that after working with them for the ten years of the film series, "they really are like my siblings".