British attorneys Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson welcome their first child, Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson, while living abroad in Paris, France. Following their divorce, Emma moves to Oxford, England, and attends the prestigious Dragon School, where she excels academically and takes up theater.
During a nationwide casting search, 9-year-old Watson is picked out of a school assembly to audition for the role of Hermione Granger in the screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. On her ninth callback, Watson lands the role. "I just felt like that part belonged to me," she tells Interview magazine. "I know that sounds crazy, but from that first audition, I always knew."
Watson spends the next decade on Potter sets with Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley. Of maturing onscreen, Watson tells Vogue Italy, "In a way, it's hard to grow up inside a film. I lived a period of my life that is full of lessons and changes under the spotlight."
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone breaks box-office records, earning $976 million worldwide. Six years later, the first five Potter films tally a worldwide box office total of more than $4.47 billion. Watson's reaction to Pottermania? "I had no idea of the scale of the film – the fame – or I would have been completely overwhelmed," she tells Parade.
Watson appears in her first non-Potter role for the BBC adaptation of Ballet Shoes and voices Princess Pea in the animated comedy The Tale of Despereaux. But Watson admits that she may not have a long career in acting: "Until something comes along that I feel as strongly about as I did Hermione – like, I felt that it was life or death – I don't want to act again," she tells Teen Vogue.
While promoting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 17-year-old Watson displays an emerging fashion sense, donning designer duds like Chanel and Burberry – without the help of a stylist. "Getting someone else to choose things takes the fun out of it," she tells the UK edition of InStyle.
Two years since the last Potter film, Watson and costars Radcliffe and Grint reunite on the cover of EW. The sixth installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, marks the end of the young wizards' days at Hogwarts. In its first week at the box office, the film rakes in a worldwide total of $396.7 million.
She may be a millionaire with a fashionista's wardrobe, but Watson's not resting on her good looks. The Potter star hits the books in the American Ivy Leagues at Brown University. "I've finally arrived at Brown University and I'm having the most amazing time," she says. "I'm still so excited to be here; I've already met so many incredible people."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Dave Hogan/Getty; Avik Gilboa/WireImage; Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros; amazon.com ; Jon Furniss/WireImage; INF; Courtesy of Burberry; Courtesy of EW; INF