Welcome to #AriesSeason, Emma Watson. This week’s birthday girl has the talent, the fashion know-how, and the humanitarian chops to be crowned April’s #WCW champion on Savoir Flair.
Call it a case of art imitating life, but Watson’s upbringing was not unlike that of her most iconic on-screen character, Hermione Granger. Like Granger, Watson was raised in a middle-class family, except Hermione’s parents were dentists and Watson’s are lawyers. Both young women are extremely intelligent, with Watson scoring all As in all her A-Levels IRL, while Hermione regularly dazzled her professors with her wit and intellect, excelling in school beyond that of all her peers throughout the Harry Potter series.
And just like Hermione discovered her talent for magic at a young age, so too did Watson find her calling as a child: acting. At the age of six, Watson was determined to become an actress, and her parents supported her dreams by enrolling her in the elite Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, where she dedicated her time to acting, dancing, and singing.
Although it’s been years since Watson played Hermione in the globally acclaimed Harry Potter franchise, it’s nearly impossible to separate the actress from her larger-than-life role. It seems ironic that her identity would be so entwined with an imaginary character that she had to “break out” from an already breakout role that defined a decade of her life – appearing in the films from ages 11 to 21. However, she forged her own path apart from the Harry Potter universe with roles in such films as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, and Beauty and the Beast.
After spending the majority of her formative years on-set shooting the Harry Potter films, with access to education given by private tutor, Watson decided to forge her own path after the series wrapped by pursuing a degree at Brown University for five years. Only taking small parts as they came along, she eventually earned her degree in English in 2014. This period of personal growth saw Watson emerging as a leading public figure in the human rights arena, after her work as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador propelled her to address issues of gender inequality at the U.N. General Assembly in a stunning speech that quickly went viral. In her appearance at the U.N., Watson launched the campaign for her organization, HeforShe, which is a platform for inviting men to become allies in the fight for gender equality.
With authenticity as a driving force in her life, Watson has been regarded by her peers and colleagues as one of the most passionate individuals they know when it comes to philanthropy, evidenced by her position as number 26 on TIME 100 list (2015) of the world’s most influential people.
Not only has Watson been an inspirational figure with her tireless advocation and work for women’s rights, but she is also regarded as something of a fashion icon. Early red carpet appearances reflected her youth, but she grew up into an elegant and influential fashion figure. In an interview conducted by her friend Jessica Chastain, Watson intimated, “Fashion is something that I love, and I find it to be so expressive and creative, and it’s obviously a way into my characters, so I’m always deeply engaged with it,” meaning that fashion serves more than a functional purpose in her life. In our gallery below, we’ve rounded up some of our #WCW’s best red carpet looks, especially those that reflect her poise and grace.