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Character Story ― Emma Watson

"An English actress, a model, an activist"


Emma Watson is best known as the character of Hermione Granger in famous novel and “Harry Potter” films. Her performance in the first film of the series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” won her a Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor.


Maintaining her commitment to her education, Watson enrolled as a freshman at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in the fall of 2009. Watson claimed she chose an American university over a British education because the American system allows students to study many subjects at once. Brown was also a place, Watson said, where she could more easily blend in.

In March 2011 Watson revealed that she was deferring her schooling to work on the Potter finale. In July she announced plans to return to Brown for a year to complete her degree after studying at Oxford University in the fall. She graduated from Brown in 2014 with an English degree. That same year, she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson

Emma Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014. The accomplished actor, humanitarian and recent graduate of Brown University will dedicate her efforts towards the empowerment of young women and will serve as an advocate for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign in promoting gender equality.

At just 24 years of age, Emma has already been involved in the promotion of girls’ education for several years and previously visited Bangladesh and Zambia as part of her humanitarian efforts. She has worked to promote fair trade and organic clothing and served as an ambassador for Camfed International, a movement to educate girls in rural Africa.

Teen Vogue Interview: Emma Watson Shares How to Step Up For The Community in Isolation

“Be gentle with yourself and take a break."

Actor and activist Emma Watson has long used Instagram as an influential platform to champion issues, such as sustainability in fashion, reproductive rights and intersectional feminism. A thought leader for her 55 million followers—many of whom grew up with Watson, whose star began ascending at the age of nine—she has now backed the #StayHome campaign to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Watson posted a makeshift sign that underlined the message that self-isolation saves lives. “My grandma is over 70, so particularly vulnerable,” she said. “My Mum is a type 1 diabetic and my best friend is a healthcare professional. #Istayhomefor them.” She then shared a few ways to “step up for your community during these tough times”, which she borrowed from Michelle Obama.

Number one: “Call the parents you know who are figuring out this new normal,” advised Watson via Grant Gold’s illustrated cards. “Offer to give their kid a lesson, or read a story.” She then turned her attention to local businesses, and advised people to buy gift certificates—for hairstylists, nail technicians and barbers as well as those that fall under the hospitality umbrella— in order to keep them afloat. “If you can, go online and make a donation to your local food bank,” she said.

“One more thing,” the recommendations continued. “Be gentle with yourself and take a break. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and afraid. It’s OK to log off… It’s OK to say, ‘I need help’. We can all take turns lifting each other up.”

Watson has previously shared her own experiences dealing with anxiety as a young adult. Before her 30th birthday on April 15, she told British Vogue: “I feel so stressed and anxious. And I realise it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around. 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.”

As we enter a period of lockdown across the globe, it’s easy to feel powerless, but messages like Watson’s maintain a sense of community—if only virtually—when we’re alone. As Obama said, the above is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a step towards making sure everyone looks after one another.

"It’s a journey and the sad thing is you only learn from experience, so as much as someone can tell you things, you have to go out there and make your own mistakes in order to learn." - Emma Watson


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