Since Emma Watson played Hermione Granger at the age of 10 in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001, she’s been intractably associated with the character.
It’s not just because she played her in eight movies. Daniel Radcliffe, after all, is doing a good job developing his own quirky persona outside of Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint isn’t too associated with Ron Weasley.
But the Emma-Hermione connection remains. While Watson tried to separate herself from the character growing up, she later embraced it after realizing how alike they are.
“At first I was really trying to say, ‘I’m not like Hermione. I’m into fashion, and I’m much cooler than she is,'” Watson told Paper magazine. “And then I came to a place of acceptance. Actually, we do have a lot in common. There are obviously differences, but there are a lot of ways that I’m very similar. And I stopped fighting that!”
It’s true. Emma Watson and Hermione Granger are remarkably similar. Here are six examples:
1. Both Hermione Granger and Emma Watson are passionate about social welfare.
In addition to her acting, Watson is known for her humanitarian work. She’s a UN Goodwill Ambassador and an outspoken feminist. Whether it’s a conversation with Malala Yousefzai or a speech at an international conference, she often talks about the importance of helping women around the world.
In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, Hermione Granger doesn’t do humanitarian work, but only because the people she’s trying to help aren’t humans. They’re elves. She founds an organization called S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) at Hogwarts in response to the mistreatment of elves in the wizarding world.
2. They’re both really smart.
This one’s the most obvious similarity. Hermione Granger is “the brightest witch of her age,” and consistently at the top of all of her classes at Hogwarts, able to cast the trickiest spells and brew the most difficult potions.
Watson attended the Dragon School, an elite prep boarding school in Oxford, England, and got straight-As. After filming the Harry Potter series, she went to Worcester College and Brown University. But more importantly, she’s talented enough to juggle a demanding acting and modeling career with her humanitarian work.
That drive was actually inspired by Hermione herself.
“I started reading ‘Harry Potter’ when I was eight — I just really identified with her,” Watson said. “I was the girl in school whose hand shot up to answer the questions. I was really eager to learn in an uncool way. In a super uncool way, actually. And then the character of Hermione gave me permission to be who I was.”
3. They both love books.
Hermione’s read “Hogwarts: A History” approximately a thousand times, along with just about everything else in the school’s library.
Emma Watson runs a feminist book club, and she’s recommended books over social media and interviews all the time. Her degree from Brown is in English literature.
4. They home school themselves.
Hermione Granger’s magical knowledge exceeds the boundaries of the Hogwarts classrooms. She’s become the brightest witch of her age not just by listening to Professor Binns drone on for hours about 18th century goblin rebellions, but by studying and testing magic on her own.
Watson is also the self-learning type. In Paper magazine she said that she was thinking about going to graduate school for gender studies, but then realized she was “learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading.” She’s taking a year off from acting to focus on gender equality work, and her goal is to read one book a week in addition to her monthly book club book.
5. They’re loyal friends.
One of the most important themes in the “Harry Potter” novels is the importance of friendship and loyalty. No matter what trouble Harry gets himself into, Hermione is there to help.
Watson also has a way of surrounding herself with loyal people. She’s said that her experience at Brown was weirdly normal — people generally didn’t make a big deal out of her celebrity, and let her live a relatively normal life on campus.
“I’ve never even been asked for an autograph on campus. I threw a party for nearly 100 students and not a single person put a photo on Facebook,” she said.
6. Their parents aren’t wizards.
Finally, one of Hermione’s defining characteristics is that she’s a muggle-born witch; her parents aren’t magical folk, but she is.
Emma Watson’s parents also aren’t witches or wizards, as far as we know. It’s still unclear if Watson has magical abilities herself.