Many of us probably remember the very first time we saw this 23 year old girl (then 11) on the silver screen. At a very young age it seemed as if Ms. Watson had won life’s lottery- she was Hermione Granger in box office shattering Harry Potter series.
Aside from the fact that all of us who were in the appropriate age-range were heart wrenched at not having received a letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first place- all the cute little brown haired girls were a slight more than green with envy at Ms. Watson’s luck. This singular career move entered her into that highly desired title of “Superstar.” The Harry Potter series stretched for years before closing its final chapter with the second installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Ms. Watson then went off to college before returning to her passion in acting.
For many of us “mortals” look up to actors and actresses, wishing for the latest styles, the glamour of the red carpet and that fame which seems to sparkle (No, not like “Twilight”). A lot of us take our “normal” life for granted. School, office jobs, break ups and saving up for something special seems like a dull life compared to Hollywood. Turns out we’re wrong.
Ms. Watson recently admitted that she is in fact envious of us muggles. By the time we are old enough to hold down a steady job we have amassed enough life experiences to be considered our own persons. We form our actions and write our own lines per say. We have all been through obstacles and successes that form us as people. For children actors, life is a little different.
Children who begin acting at a very young age, especially in a franchise in which they have the same role over and over again usually have trouble developing their own identity outside of the character’s at certain times. Additionally, real life experiences such as first kisses and that first “I love you” may be stolen by a camera reel instead of true emotion. Such intimate details of our lives and development prepare us for the ups and downs that ensue.
We have seen over and over how child actors more often than not stray away from what we consider moral behaviors. To name the obvious: Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez among others. Ms. Watson has been lucky that her private live was somehow kept more separate than her colleagues’. That is not to say that there aren’t people outside of stardom who behave this way. But sometimes what you don’t know doesn’t affect you. Privacy and dealing with our actions and decisions play a key part in our development. Knowing who you are and what you bring to the table outside of your latest role is crucial to your self-esteem and wellbeing.
So while we may envy those first class plane tickets and dripping jewelry (and amazing airbrushing jobs), we can rest easy at night knowing that every day we are out there in the real world doing our best. And that’s all the magic we really need.
By Atar Kishon