Emma Watson Opens Up About The Hardest Days On The Set of Harry Potter

From auditioning 9 times to wearing false teeth, portraying Hermione in the Harry Potter series wasn’t an easy feat for Emma Watson. But there were some fun times like the secret crush she had on a co-star. And no, it isn’t the one’s playing Harry or Ron! Let’s find out about Watson’s experiences while acting in Harry Potter.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dave J Hogan / Emma Watson at Beauty and the Beast UK launch event


NINE AUDITIONS

Emma Watson’s audition for Hermione was in August 2000. Already 20 years ago, where did the time go?! Though the young actress took auditioning seriously, she never really thought she had any chance of getting the part. Apparently, she only tried out because her friends were doing it - and she thought it would make for a good laugh.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Chris Jackson / Emma at Windsor castle


Watson explained why she got into acting, "As a child, I loved being onstage. I loved the lights ... the adrenaline. I even loved learning lines. I was completely obsessive." Thankfully, this dogged nature also motivated her to audition for her very first role. Well, that and a push from her theatre teachers.


They added her name to the casting agents’ hat when casting for Hermione was announced. You’d think Watson was cast immediately, knowing how perfect she is for the role, right? You’re wrong. Well, at just nine years old, Watson did get picked out of a line-up of hopefuls in her school gym.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil / Emma at 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party


However, she still had to audition for the part over eight times before bagging the role. Surprisingly, writer J.K. Rowling at first thought Watson was too pretty to play Hermione. Now isn’t that ironic. “To be honest, [Daniel] and Rupert and Emma are all too good looking. You know, the characters were geeky.” Luckily, she was mostly joking.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Anthony Harvey / Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe at the premiere of Deathly Hallows Part 2


A MINI HERMIONE

While the whole casting process was stressful, Watson enjoyed it. She’d literally sit by the telephone in her house, waiting for each call. Reminds us of a certain bright witch! When they had her in for the ninth audition, she was like, “Wow, nine!" Finally, she was called in to producer David Heyman's office.


When he said she was the 'preferred' candidate for the role, she was ready to start obsessing over what ‘preferred' meant, but didn’t get the time. Before she could say “Immobulus” to freeze time, they’d taken a photograph of her, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Soon after, their casting was broadcast on the Internet.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dave Hogan / Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe


By the time she got back to her house, the press was already waiting outside so they had to move straight to a hotel. Hectic! Before being cast as Hermione, Watson had never done any professional acting. Regardless, she made it look totally easy. Aside from obsessing over things, there were other challenges she had to face on set.


GETTING INTO CHARACTER

Watson nails her role as Hermione. One reason is that she shares many similarities with her witty counterpart. We can imagine Watson going “it’s leviOsa, not leviosA” as Hermione. When she was growing up, Watson tried to separate herself from the character, but eventually stopped fighting the comparison.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison / Emma at Beauty and the Beast premiere


"At first I was trying to say, 'I'm not like Hermione. I'm into fashion, and I'm much cooler.’ And then I came to a place of acceptance. There are obviously differences, but there are a lot of ways that I'm very similar," Watson explained. And there’s a funny story that confirms just how similar she’s to Hermione!


During the filming of The Prisoner of Azkaban, director Alfonso Cuarón gave Grint, Radcliffe and Watson an assignment. They had to discuss their characters in an essay. Just like Ron, Grint forgot to write it. Much like Harry, Radcliffe only turned in one page. And, you guessed it - Watson pulled a Granger move and handed in a sixteen-page essay!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Steve Finn / Daniel, Emma and Rupert at photocall of The Prisoner Of Azkaban


A HAIRY DIFFERENCE

Well, that would make getting into character easy, right? But there are noticeable differences between the two. Starting with hair color! Watson has naturally blonde hair. In order to become Hermione, she had to dye it a darker shade. And if you notice, the stylists gave up cause by the end of the series, Hermione was rocking Watson’s natural hair.

Image Credits: YouTube / Wizarding World / Harry, Ron, and Hermione Leave Home


Another change from the books is Hermione’s oversized front teeth. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though. Poor Watson had to wear false teeth for a while in the first film, The Philosopher’s Stone. It’s clearly visible when she meets Harry and Ron for the first time aboard Hogwarts Express.

Image Credits: Getty Images / New York Daily News Archive / Emma, Daniel and Rupert at New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


According to Chris Columbus, the director of the film, he realized she couldn’t keep acting with them in her mouth. Thank goodness for small realizations. That was just some of the physical changes Watson had to make to get into character. The actress has also admitted to “overdoing” her role.


A KNOW-IT-ALL

Like Hermione, Watson was keen on knowing everything, to the point of it becoming quite tiresome for everyone else. She actually ended up reading and memorizing everyone else’s lines along with hers! The outtake clips from the first movie of her mouthing Radcliffe and Grint’s lines along with them are comedy gold.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Yui Mok / Rupert, Daniel and Emma at the launch of the DVD-VHS at Leavesden Studios


Of course, Jimmy Kimmel dug this up in an interview. Watson was totally mortified. She responded, “This is actually quite traumatic for me because I created issues because of this. Because I would ruin takes. Chris would be like, Cut Emma you’re doing it again. As a result, the cast and crew had to reshoot Daniel and Rupert’s scenes.”

Image Credits: YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live / Emma Watson's Harry Potter Outtake


She added, “I couldn’t help myself! I was such a loser. I really love those books, I really wanted to do my job well. And I kinda overdid it.” We’re pretty sure it was endearing for her fellow co-stars. Especially, considering that Radcliffe used to have a little crush on her.


Yeah, Radcliffe once mentioned that between the filming of the third and the fifth film, they were the only "boys and girls" they knew, so he might have felt attracted towards her. However, it settled down. Watson on the other hand wasn’t immune to one co-star’s charms. And it’s not who you’d think!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Daniel Radcliffe


SECRET CRUSH ON A CO-STAR

Well, obviously not so secret anymore. Did Watson have feelings for her on-screen boyfriend, Grint? Actually, it’s neither him nor Radcliffe. While filming the first two movies, Watson fell under the spell of Tom Felton. He played her rival house member, Draco Malfoy. Yup, Watson’s admitted to having had a huge crush on Felton when they were kids.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Andy Butterton / Emma Watson and Tom Felton at Disney Channel Kids awards


"We love a bad guy and he was a few years older and had a skateboard. And that just did it, really. He used to do tricks on it. He was so cool," Watson reminisced. Felton heard about it through the grapevine, and responded, "We've been friends for a long time and it's very flattering.”


Felton went on to add, “I had a little boy crush on Helena Bonham Carter [who plays Bellatrix]." Oops! Fast forward to today, and Watson and Felton are great friends who can laugh together at the folly of youth. There was one awful incident between the two, though while filming the series!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dave Benett / Helena Bonham Carter at Ocean's 8 UK premiere


You’ll remember that one scene where Hermione threatens Draco and then punches him in the face. Let’s just say that behind the scenes, things were quite realistic. Instead of a “movie slap”, as Felton calls it, “She just went... and she just smacked me right across the face. Which completely took me, I didn't know what to do.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ian Gavan / Tom Felton at the premiere of Deathly Hallows 2


Turns out it was just an accident, nothing more. When asked about it, Watson said, “I feel terrible. I feel really bad. I’m not really sure what I was thinking.” As you can see, the role demanded more than just book smarts but also some physical action. And romantic scenes…


FUNNY AND EMBARASSING MOMENTS

Like probably any child actress in the world, adult Emma Watson is embarrassed to watch her younger self in the movies. There’s one specific issue she had with Hermione that irked her. When she looked back at the earliest films, her hair is what she used to see at first. In fact, it was one of her major regrets.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason Merritt / Emma at the 86th Oscars


"When I see the images of the first Harry Potter, I immediately think of how ugly my hair was.” Thankfully for her, the character experienced a transformation over the years. But the Beauty and the Beast actress also came to the realization that feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like.


Hopefully, she’ll look past Hermione’s wild hair next time she rewatches. On another note, the cast had lots of fun while filming. Grint always missed his mark, making everyone laugh. He even shared how they had something special made for his broom. “They made this little seat for me, they kinda took a mould of my chair area.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vincent Sandoval / Rupert Grint at SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Conversations


“He had a bum cast. I also had a bum cast,” Watson elaborated. When asked to recall one of her favorite lines, she said, “I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed or worse, expelled.” Watson said she got so much joy out of that goody-two-shoes scene.


LAUGHING AWAY THE AWKWARDNESS

There were other scenes that turned out to be not just funny, but also super uncomfortable to film. Watson, Radcliffe and Grint basically grew up together and considered each other like siblings. So, it’s not surprising that it was pretty weird for Watson to kiss both of them while filming Deathly Hallows.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy / Daniel, Emma and Rupert at the premiere of Deathly Hallows Part 1


But her dance scene with Radcliffe in the 7th instalment turned out to be perfect, silly and spontaneous. What stands out in her mind, though, is the long-building kiss between Hermione and Ron. Behind the scenes, both the actors were dreading it. “Believe me, we both wanted it to be over equally as much as the other,” Watson said.


“We just got through it by laughing a lot. It was good, he’s a nice kisser,” she added. The other thing that helped make the scene more bearable? The director says it best, “[Watson] knows that rather than doing 27 takes, she knew if she committed really early… we’d get it.” More proof that she’s a smart girl.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dave Hogan / Rupert and Emma at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows photocall


EMMA’S DARK SECRET

But there’s always a dark side. Filming The Order Of The Phoenix made Watson want to quit the franchise. In her own words, "I hate to sound whiny but it was horrible, this has definitely been the most intense, gruelling period of film-making I’ve ever done.”


Thank goodness she stuck it out. But there’s something even more shocking. She almost quit acting all-together! Being only nine when she was cast, the instant worldwide fame was really tough on her. The cameras, the lights, it was just scary. On top of that, the young star struggled for years with feelings of guilt over having landed the role.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Matt Winkelmeyer / Emma Watson at BAFTA


How so? Speaking candidly with Vogue, Watson admitted that because she was so burdened by the fame, she felt guilty and wondered if someone else shouldn’t have gotten the role. Perhaps one who would’ve handled the exposure better. As a kid, she couldn’t have known exactly what she was signing up for when she was cast.


As the fame grew and grew, she had to reorient herself mentally. "[There have] been moments when everything just got so big... [that] I almost had vertigo on my own life, and it got so big that I felt disconnected,” told Watson. That is such a tough experience for a young child to go through.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mike Coppola / Emma at Beauty And The Beast New York Screening


A NEED FOR EDUCATION

Luckily her family and friends have been her saving grace and kept her rooted. There’s another angle to why she almost quit acting, though. Watson actually wanted to finish her education and attend university like her Harry Potter counterpart. Ron Weasley would have probably said, “She needs to sort out her priorities,” right?


David Heyman, who produced the Harry Potter films, told Glamour, “Emma was academic and very keen in pursuit of schooling and was wrestling a bit more than the others. So each time there was a negotiation, it was not about a financial [matter], it really was about, ‘Do I want to be a part of this?'”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Gambon, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman at the premiere of Half-Blood Prince


After the movies, Watson remained as committed to her education as ever. After graduating, she said, “I want to diversify a bit. I don’t wanna throw myself into another big blockbuster or another big franchise anytime soon. So smaller films, just small little interesting parts.” She’s since revealed that although it took her a long time, she’s really happy today.


And on the whole, Watson is grateful for her 10-year experience in the famous franchise. Her last day of filming was therefore an emotional one. "When they said, 'That's Emma down and Rupert wrapped,' it just hit me. I cried, cried, cried - it was really emotional and overwhelming," remembered Watson. Awww.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Pascal Le Segretain / Emma at The Circle Paris Photocall


Watson honestly was the perfect Hermione Granger. And because of it, we get to see her brilliant acting career in films like The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and Little Women. Which fact surprised you the most - or did you “know it all,” like Hermione?

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