“I’ve sat in therapy and felt really guilty”: After Working in $9.5 Billion Franchise, Emma Watson Horribly Struggled to Deal With Fame as a Hollywood Star

“I’ve sat in therapy and felt really guilty”: After Working in $9.5 Billion Franchise, Emma Watson Horribly Struggled to Deal With Fame as a Hollywood Star

Nearly a century after the talkies overtook Hollywood and revolutionized the industry forever, the genre of epic and high fantasy did the same at the turn of the century. Among the batch that first graduated from the industry as one of its highest-grossing fantasy franchises of all time was Emma Watson, playing the role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series adaptation by Warner Bros.

And as audiences, even as life before Harry Potter seems impossible now to comprehend, the lifestyle of Watson and her co-stars, most of whom were barely teenagers at the time of their casting, was a much more peaceful one – more preferable in the eyes of the Little Women actor than what she endured in the early years of her fame.

Emma Watson at the Little Women premiere

Emma Watson at the Little Women premiere

Emma Watson Adjusts to a Life in the Shadow of Harry Potter

For child actors, an enormity of their lives go missing – their childhood and youth are forsaken in favor of the spotlight and adjusting to life under the public’s gaze. Fame and wealth add further complications to an experience that would have otherwise only meant to serve as a platform and an outlet for artistic liberty and creative expression. For Emma Watson, it was no different. The Harry Potter actor was barely 9 years old when she was cast in the role of Hermione Granger.

Harry Potter cast

The Harry Potter cast

In an interview with Vogue, Watson claimed the trouble she faced while surviving the spotlight in the aftermath of her skyrocketing career and the fame and exposure that accompanied it:

“It’s so bizarre and otherworldly, what happened to me. That’s something I’ve sat in therapy and felt really guilty about, to be honest. Like, ‘Why me?’ Somebody else would have enjoyed and wanted this aspect of it more than I did. I’ve wrestled a lot with the guilt around that. Of being, like, ‘I should be enjoying this more. I should be more excited.’ And I’m actually really struggling.”

Harry Potter trio as children

The Harry Potter trio as children

Her years in therapy were not something particular to her. Child actors who are exposed to fame this early in life are often faced with the brutality of Hollywood’s relentless presence in the public’s ever-observant eyes and as such, never have the opportunity to experience or learn the facets of normality that one would expect to have in their formative years.

Emma Watson Reveals the Positive Aspect of Her Fame

It is famously known how Emma Watson’s Hollywood career turned from one playing the muggle Hermione Granger to a fiercely vocal and socio-political advocate of feminism and women’s goodwill. Her brilliance shines bright in both aspects of her career, and even though normality is something that she has craved for a long time, Watson reveals there can be another way to look at her early fame that doesn’t reflect a shuddering projection of terror and crippling anxiety:

“You just have to accept it. I came to terms with it. I feel fortunate that I’ve never really known what it’s like to have total freedom. It’s not as though I had it and then all of a sudden it got taken away from me, it’s something I grew up knowing and a process that happened gradually. I haven’t had anything else and in a way I guess that’s a blessing.”

Emma Watson at the 2022 BAFTAs

Emma Watson at the 2022 BAFTAs

In recent years, Emma Watson has turned more toward working on social issues than expanding her Hollywood career. Her latest films which include works like Little Women (2019) and Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2021) have been immense successes, both critically and commercially. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO, David Zaslav, has recently begun talks of reprising the Harry Potter industry but whether the franchise alumni will return in any capacity hasn’t been made clear yet.

The Harry Potter film series is currently available for streaming on HBO Max.

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