Emma Watson: The Biography

Emma Watson: The Biography

by David Nolan

NOOK Book(eBook)

$8.99 $9.99 Save 10% Current price is $8.99, Original price is $9.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843588719
Publisher: John Blake Publishing, Limited
Publication date: 12/21/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 1,234,642
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

David Nolan is an award-winning journalist who's authored biographies on subjects ranging from Simon Cowell to the Sex Pistols. He's also written for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.

Read an Excerpt

Emma Watson

The Biography

By David Nolan

John Blake Publishing Ltd

Copyright © 2011 David Nolan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-84358-903-7



It's the kind of coincidence that a writer of fiction would probably steer clear of: it's a bit too neat, too easy, too convenient to be truly credible. But the fact is that Emma Watson came into the world at almost the same time as the fictional little girl with whom she will forever be associated.

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on 15 April 1990 in Paris, France. Hermione Jean Granger appeared fully formed in the imagination of Joanne – later J. K. – Rowling a few weeks later on a train from Manchester to London. The circumstances, though, were very different.

Emma's parents met at Oxford University, Britain's oldest university and still, much to Cambridge's annoyance, ranked the best in terms of results. 'When my dad talks about his time there,' Emma later explained to Interview magazine, 'he says it was the most incredible experience.'

Her parents were, from the start, a formidable pairing. 'My parents are both pretty high achievers,' Emma would later state. 'It's quite hard to win their approval.' Her French-born mum, Jacqueline Luesby, is a trained lawyer, fashionable – often seen in Chanel – and sporty with a particular talent for hockey. Jacqueline's love for the game would be passed to her daughter. 'It's my favourite sport,' Emma said. 'My mum played for East of England, which is why I think I love it so much, and it helps to take my mind off everything.'

Dad Chris Watson, a fluent French speaker, had also trained as a lawyer and would go on to forge a considerable reputation in the field of business competition law. A keen music fan with a fondness for blues artists such as B. B. King and Eric Clapton, Chris Watson is a man with a love of fine wine and even finer clothes. 'Dad loved his Hermès ties,' Emma later told Tatler.

Chris and Jacqueline were also both keen table-tennis players – and their approach to the game reflected their take on life: they played to win. 'My parents played and they're both really competitive,' she explained to Mizz magazine. 'They never used to let me win, but I got quite good at it.' In later life, Emma would stage table-tennis matches on the film sets where she spent much of her young life. 'Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] were quite taken aback that I could beat them. I think Rupert took it the worst.'

The young Emma seemed to react to her glamorous parents in very different ways. 'My mum could be fearsome,' Emma later told Vogue. 'She doled out the discipline.' Dad Chris, though, was – and still is – 'up there on a pedestal' in Emma's eyes. Journalists who interviewed Emma in later life often commented how regularly her dad Chris came up in her conversation. What's more, it would always be in glowing terms.

The young power couple decamped to Paris in the late eighties. 'I have a great nostalgia for it,' Emma would later recall about the city of her birth. 'I really love it. It feels a bit like home.' In later life, she would use the trips to Paris made available to her courtesy of French fashion houses to visit her beloved grandmother. Chris Watson's love of all things French and his taste in wine would lead him to be a vineyard owner and, in later years, Emma's summers would be spent visiting the land he owned.

Two years later, brother Alexander was born. It was around this time that the seed of a dream – one so common to little girls of that age – was first sown in Emma's mind. She would share the dream – in her own slightly skewed way – with her family. 'One of my grandma's most favourite "sitting round the fire at Christmas" stories is that when I was three she said to me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"' Emma later explained to US talk-show host Jay Leno. 'I said I want to be a queen, a fairy, a princess ... or a mattress. I meant actress, obviously.'

Not that being an actress – or indeed a mattress – was a particularly realistic option and the voicing of this early ambition must have struck her family as a charming if slightly unusual one. The picture Emma would later paint of her family life would be an extremely happy, if slightly dry, one. Being from a sturdily intellectual family meant that talk of a life in the entertainment industry was not something that tended to crop up at the dinner table. Theatre was part of family life, but movies just didn't appear on the Watsons' radar. 'I came from a background of lawyers and academics,' she later told the Daily Express. 'We just didn't watch films in our household.'

Cartoons seem to have been an exception, though, and Emma liked to dress up as her favourite Disney characters, often going to the shops in a Snow White costume. The 1989 Disney fairytale The Little Mermaid was a particular favourite. The film told the story of Ariel, a mermaid princess who, despite her status underwater, yearns for another life totally different from the one she knows: dry land.

Emma would hold one memory from her childhood especially dear – of dad Chris dressing up as Ariel's father King Triton as a surprise for her fifth birthday party. Not that young Emma was a total angel. 'I was such a drama queen,' she would confess to the Daily Telegraph. 'I used to wail and moan and cry, and little things were blown up into being big things. I don't know how my parents stood it, really.'

But, behind the seemingly idyllic, bohemian exterior, the Watsons were falling apart as a couple. By the early summer of 1995, they decided to separate. Jacqueline Watson wanted to head home for the comfort of Oxford and returned to Britain with five-year-old Emma and two-year-old Alex. Chris would also return to England, setting up home in the upmarket London enclave of Hampstead. The Watsons' lawyer instincts kicked in and arrangements for joint care of the children were agreed upon. Emma and Alex would stay with their mother during the week and go to London every other weekend to see their dad. The Watsons seemed to have adopted a very British, heads-down, let's-get-on-with-things attitude to the split and to parenting in general. Despite Emma and Alex being so young, 'kids' stuff' was very much frowned upon. 'We would never be allowed to order off the kids' menu in restaurants,' Emma later revealed to journalist Lesley White of the Sunday Times. 'I wasn't babied. I was expected to step up when I was told to.'

In 1995, shortly after her return from Paris, Emma started at the prestigious Lynams pre-prep school in Oxford, where four-to eight-year-olds go to prepare for life at the main Dragon School, of which it is a part. It was founded in 1877 as the Lynams Preparatory School and many of its early staff were former Oxford University academics. The most prominent among them was a Mr George. When pupils picked up the nickname 'Dragons' – as in Mr George and his little dragons – it stuck, and the school was renamed soon afterwards.

The two parts of the school retain a rather raffish, informal air and pupils are encouraged to call teachers by their nicknames. Parents can expect to pay £20,000 for their children to board at the school and former pupils have the marvellously Potteresque name of Old Dragons. Among their number are tennis player Tim Henman, Ed O'Brien, guitarist with rock band Radiohead, and Hugh Laurie, the comic actor and star of international TV hit House.

By 1996, Emma had settled into a life split between her parents – 'juggling' them as she put it – spending time in both Oxford and London. She would later remember going to London's Oxford Street in November of that year for the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights. That year, the lights were illuminated by girl power: the switch was flicked by the Spice Girls, riding high after the success of their debut single 'Wannabe'. Eight years later, the same ceremony would be performed by international film star Emma Watson.

Despite the split, the way in which Chris and Jacqueline conducted themselves in relation to their children – and their elder child's later fame – appears to be a model of how adults should behave when a relationship goes wrong. In public, they would continue to show a united front on all matters related to Emma, even going to film premieres together to show support for their daughter when fame later engulfed her. 'I rely on them hugely,' Emma confessed to the Daily Mail, 'and always speak to them first about everything.'

Emma would eventually become the big sister to a complex and elongated brood of step- and half-siblings on both sides of her two families. 'I have a quite complicated family life,' she would later explain to Girl's Life. 'My dad is remarried and he has three children [Toby and twin girls, Lucy and Nina]. My mum has a new partner, and he has two kids. Then I have a real brother called Alex, so I'm one of seven now. They keep me really down to earth. I mean, I can't get away with anything. They'll just be like, "Oh, here we go. She's going to completely over-dramatise and exaggerate everything," which I do have a tendency to do.'

Emma's dramatic powers would start to come to the fore with a developing interest in poetry and acting. In later years, she would often make a point of highlighting her family's lack of interest in the world of film. 'I didn't come from a background of films,' she explained to the Daily Mail. 'I didn't even really ever watch films. The fact is, my parents weren't into that stuff, and neither was I.'

Despite this, several actresses did start to make their mark on the youngster: she would later cite Julia Roberts as being her 'favourite of all time'. Goldie Hawn and Sandra Bullock also appealed to Emma. Thoughts of acting – could I do that? – began to grow a little stronger, in some ways acting as a distraction to her complex home life. 'I'd been brought up in France, then moved to England, and I was adjusting a lot. And I think that any kind of acting is escapism. When you're performing, the whole of your body is consumed – you're so totally in the moment, you can't think of anything else.'

But if neither side of Emma's family could provide the artistic impetus she began to crave, then perhaps it could come from her school. Lynams put great store in providing chances for children to perform, and Emma's class was encouraged to learn a poem a week to help with their self-confidence and voice projection. There was even a school prize for the best poetry performance. Originally known as the Daisy Pratt Prize for Baby School Recitation, the award was named after a formidable member of staff who worked at the school for 30 years shortly after the First World War. Daisy Pratt was keen to encourage 'clear and lively recitation', and after her death in 1950 the tradition continued with a school poetry competition in her name.

Emma's performance side shone when she was just seven, when she won the Daisy Pratt prize with her rendition of 'The Sea' by children's writer James Reeves. The poem's text compares the sea to a hungry dog with 'shaggy jaws'. There's a lot of gnashing and rolling, tumbling and howling in the poem – it cries out to be acted out in big moves and grand gestures. It's not a poem to be performed by the shy and retiring – and Emma loved it. 'I loved finding out the real meaning of all the words, and how I could say them, and what I could do with my voice, and how I could get the audience to hang on my every word,' she recalled in an interview with Marie Claire magazine. 'I just got really into it.'

More performance opportunities came at the school – and at the Oxford branch of the children's theatre school Stagecoach – with an appearance in Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. The piece is an adaptation of Wilde's short story about the friendship between a statue and a little bird. Then there was Emma's first foray into the world of witches and wizardry. 'At my school we did a play every year, and I was very, very involved in quite a few of them,' she later told Entertainment Weekly. 'I had some main parts. You know, Arthur in the "Knights of the Round Table"? Yeah, I played the witch Morgan Le Fay, the evil sister of Arthur.'

Hard to believe now, but these 'lively recitations' and school plays were to be the extent of Emma's acting experience before her audition for the first Harry Potter film. It was just fun. 'When you're a young girl and you put on a tiara and a fancy dress,' she explained to journalist Matthew Oshinsky, 'well, princesses, ballerinas, fairies, actresses, they all sort of come in the same bracket. It's all "let's pretend", let's just wear pretty things and be glamorous. It has no real meaning, or at least it didn't at the time for me.'

But, slowly, Emma's 'let's pretend' did begin to have meaning and she became, in her own words, 'obsessed' by being an actress. 'I dreamt of it,' she later confessed to the Daily Telegraph. 'I practised speeches in front of mirrors. Whenever there was a part at school, I went for it. I was probably a bit of a show-off in the sense that, any chance to get up and be seen, I did it.'

Meanwhile, the woman whose life was about to become permanently intertwined with Emma's was making some headway of her own. As seven-year-old Emma Watson was taking her first tentative steps at being a performer, an initial run of 500 hardback copies of a new book was being published. It was J. K. Rowling's first book and it was called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Jo – she once said that the only time she was called Joanne was when she was in trouble – had ploughed a slightly chaotic route through life in the preceding years. Like Emma, she had lived in Paris, where she'd spent a year as part of her French and classics degree. She'd married a Portuguese TV journalist in 1992, had a daughter, Jessica, nine months later, and separated from her husband three months after giving birth.

After returning to the UK with her daughter and moving to Edinburgh to be closer to her sister, Jo lived on state handouts, writing in cafés to save money on heating. 'I had no intention, no desire, to remain on benefits,' Rowling told the DailyTelegraph in 1997. 'It's the most soul-destroying thing. I don't want to dramatise, but there were nights when, though Jessica ate, I didn't. The suggestion that you would deliberately make yourself entitled ... you'd have to be a complete idiot. I was a graduate, I had skills, I knew that my prospects long term were good. It must be different for women who don't have that belief and end up in that poverty trap – it's the hopelessness of it, the loss of self-esteem. For me, at least, it was only six months. I was writing all the time, which really saved my sanity. As soon as Jessie was asleep, I'd reach for pen and paper.'

The grim reality of Rowling's day-to-day life – so very different from the privilege of Watson's – would soon become the stuff of magazine feature writers' dreams: 'Literary Triumph of Downtrodden Single Mum on Benefits'. Though true, it's a pigeonholing image that seems to annoy Rowling, particularly when it was subsequently suggested that the story was PR spin. In 2006, she explained her irritation to Channel 4's Richard and Judy show: 'Not to crack out the violins or anything, but if you've been through a few years where things have been very tough – and they were very tough – and it's dismissed in half a sentence, "starving in a garret", and occasionally I've thought, Well you try it, pal, you go there and see. It wasn't a publicity stunt, it was my life, and at that time I didn't know there was going to be this amazing resolution. I thought this would be life for twenty years.'

The original idea for the book had come to her in June 1990 (several weeks after Emma was born) as Jo Rowling was travelling from Manchester to London on a delayed train. It's become part of Potter folklore that the world of Harry Potter came to her in one overwhelming creative wave. 'I didn't know then that it was going to be a book for children – I just knew that I had this boy, Harry. During that journey I also discovered Ron, Nearly Headless Nick, Hagrid and Peeves. But with the idea of my life careering round my head, I didn't have a pen that worked! And I never went anywhere without my pen and notebook. So, rather than trying to write it, I had to think it. And I think that was a very good thing. I was besieged by a mass of detail and if it didn't survive that journey it probably wasn't worth remembering. So I got back to the flat that night and began to write it all down in a tiny cheap notebook.'

She began to weave a story about the orphan Harry Potter, who is transported from the grim suburban life he endures with his guardians when he discovers he is a wizard. Sent off to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he makes friends with fellow young wizards Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and with equal ease makes an enemy out of another pupil, Draco Malfoy.

Harry, Ron and Hermione uncover the magical stone of the title, which has the power of immortality. An evil wizard called Voldemort needs the stone to restore his powers. Voldemort killed Harry's parents – when the boy wizard discovers this, he vows revenge. Harry has to use all his cunning – and the help of his newfound friends – to get to the stone before the evil wizard does.


Excerpted from Emma Watson by David Nolan. Copyright © 2011 David Nolan. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Emma Watson - The Biography 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good! I remember the first time I saw the movie Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone I fell in love it and instantly Emma Watson became my favorite actress. I recomend this book for people who are fans of Harry Potter like me. Or if you just like Emma Watson again like me!! I am suprised that no one else has even wrote an interview for this book it's really really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Luv Emma shes soo pretty and she has really exellent sense of fashion !!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma watson is my sister if anyone wants to meet her please let me know
Hotcocoakid1234 More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! I loved it!!!!!! All Emma Watson fans will find this very intriguing especially if they are also Harry Potter fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All u haters of emma watson, i have somthin to say haters are mean, so if u have lots of friends they like hangin with mean people
Anonymous 5 months ago
Hi. My name is Kaylee brandersh. You are by far my favorute hp character. You are incredible. I was you for this halloween and I could never look as good as you. Also, say hi to dainel radcliffe, rupert grint, bonnie wright, evvana lynch and tom felton. You are my passion to become a magic engineer. I love you! From, kaylee brandersh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You said it amelia!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please tell me when i can meet her!!!!!!!!!:))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will become rich and famous and I will marry her, no one else. And I am 12! But listen to this, only I am the number 1 fan of Emma Watson. If there are objections, think again before posting it because I will do something bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma Watson is awesome shes a great actress and Harry Potter books and movies are the best ever :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U r hot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rupert Grint acted as Ron Weasly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma Wattson rocks! BEST ACTRESS EVA!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks awesome! Emma is my role model. I grew up reading hp and hermione was always my favorite character! I saw emma as hermione and i instantly trusted and liked her! Shes so sweet! I have never ever seen her say or do something innapropriate or mean and i seriously look up to her. I am really glad that she has gotten to get more roles! She deserves them! She is an amazing actress! I am not allowed to see perks of being a wallflower but im going to someday! Ive seen the trailor and i cracked up..... "come on lets go be phsycos together" i love that! You rock emma! Thanks for being the perfect hermione! I love the new haircut! I need to get this book. Like now. From lover of logan lerman emma watson and pj and hp!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am emma watsons biggest fan of all time so back off. I know everything about her. I have 996 photos of her on my ipod. I love all of the movies she has been in. My fave has to be the perks of being a wallflower because it is so different. I love the new bad girl act and I LOVE the new haircut.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shes hot like crazy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shes 23 yrs old
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please respond
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hay i am emma watsons biggest fan. I have seen all of the harry potter movies. I also know so much about her like she beat daniel radcliff in pingpong. Also i saw her brother and her in a picture he is so hot. Who is a emma watson fan please tell me and mabe we can be nook friends. Emma watson and the guy who plays ron weasly they look realy good together. Also one of my favorte seen where she is in when she slaps draco mawfor across the face. Ok i know i spelled some things wrong but we all make mistake. Also who ever said was going to marry emma watson is a fake. Curse the ass you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is the hottest girl EVER i have millons of pictures of her i my phone i can not bleave she is 20 i thout she was 17 or 18.i wish we could make out like french it up!!!!!!!!!!!!! toung every where you know what i mean ;-D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My future wife
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma watson is highly logical compared to a ditz like jennifer and shes blonde which prefers to ditz go emma plz respnd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do u know who i am