She has a British accent and she was in the British Harry Potter films, does that mean Emma Watson is British?
Emma Watson is British and she grew up in Oxford, England. However, Watson was born in Paris, France. Her parents are both English lawyers who worked in France, but moved back to England when she was five years old. Her parents separated and she was raised by her mother in Oxfordshire, spending weekends with her father in London.
Read more below about Emma Watson’s time growing up in Oxford, her desire to be an actress, and getting the role to play Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.
Growing Up in Paris and Oxford
Emma Watson was born on April 15, 1990 to her parents Jacqueline Leusby and Chris Watson in Paris, France. Both of her parents are lawyers and the family lived in an affluent suburb of Paris called Maisons-Laffitte. When Emma was just five years old her family moved back to England from France and her parents divorced.
Due to the divorce, Emma’s mother lived in Oxford where she raised Emma on the weekdays. Chris Watson lived in London, England and Emma went to visit him on weekends. Since she lived in Oxford, Emma’s parents enrolled her at a famous prep school known as the Dragon School. She first attended the pre-prep school then the prep school until 2003.
After graduating from the Dragon School, Watson attended the Headington School. The Headington School is an all girls private preparatory day and boarding school. Similar to the Harry Potter book and movie series, the Headington School also has competitive houses, ten of them to be exact.
Wanting to Be an Actress
From the age of six, Emma Watson knew that she wanted to be an actress. Due to her strong desire to be an actress, she was enrolled part-time to the Oxford branch of the Stagecoach Theatre Arts school. There she studied acting, dance, and singing. Some notable alumni from the school are Jamie Bell and Cher Lloyd.
It was due to her training and minor stage performances with Stagecoach that she was able to land the role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. This happened when she was only nine-years old and meant that Watson would join the ranks of child stars.
Unlike many child stars, Watson has recalled that her parents were very helpful and supportive in their dealing with her fame. In 2012, she told T: The New York Times Style Magazine “Yeah, I think I’ve been lucky in that neither of my parents got swept up in it, it wasn’t something they wanted for me, it wasn’t something that they were overawed by. They gave me the best advice they could, and I think they gave me very good advice.”
Emma Watson Becomes Hermione Granger
The entire world of Harry Potter exists in Great Britain, so it only makes sense that British, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish actors were chosen to play the characters. The character of Hermione Granger was no exception.
Emma Watson had eight auditions before she landed the role of Hermione. In this Vogue article, it is highlighted “For the ninth audition, Watson met with the film’s producer David Heyman, who told her that she was the ‘preferred candidate’ for the role. ‘Before I could obsess over what ‘preferred’ meant, they took a photograph of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and me, and it was broadcast on the Internet that we had been cast in Harry Potter.’”
That is some serious waiting on Watson’s part for a role. To put it in perspective, she was only nine years old when she auditioned!
You can watch Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint’s very first screen test together by following the below YouTube link. In the clip you can hear Watson’s very distinct British accent.