The Many Literary Adaptations of Emma Watson

Posted by Sarah Fox

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Emma Watson, while born in Britain, is America's darling. Not only does she always looks elegant and beautiful, but she has attended the world's top universities and fought for feminism. And, perhaps more importantly to us, she appears in some of our favorite movies based on books.


The Harry Potter Franchise

It is not easy to get one of the lead roles in a set of blockbuster movies. It is even more impressive when you realize that they are based on unbelievably popular books by J.K. Rowling. But after multiple auditions, Emma Watson did it (demonstrating that she has the same tenacity as the character she plays, Hermoine Granger). Since the eight movies were filmed over the course of years, we got to watch Emma Watson grow up with Hermoine. We are sure both women would not want to revisit the frizzy hair they had the first year of school. Yet again, who does?


The Tale of Despereaux

Emma Watson enters the world of voice work and returns to children's literature in The Tale of Despereaux (based on the delightful illustrated novel by Kate DiCamillo). She lends her voice to the character Princess Pea, a real princess who befriends and is saved by a Quixotic mouse. The character is one of her less interesting roles: she serves to help the mouse live out his fairytale fantasies. Still, at least she gets a break from playing a wizard.


My Week with Marilyn

Emma Watson steps into an adult role when she plays Lucy in My Week with Marilyn (based on two books by Colin Clark). Lucy is the cute wardrobe assistant (gotta love the old-school clothes) that Colin asks on a date. Lucy, however, is one perceptive girl and breaks things off with him when she realizes he is infatuated with Marilyn (demonstrating the same spunk and intelligence as Hermonie). In the end, she calls out Colin by telling him he deserved to have his heartbroken by Marilyn. Our only issue with the film is this: as much as we love Michelle Williams as Marilyn, we still find it shocking that Colin could turn down Lucy when she was played by Emma Watson.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Emma Watson returns to adolescence and school in the film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She yet again befriends a misfit: Charlie. She encourages him to pursue his dreams by buying him a typewriter and even tries to set him up with her friend (with disastrous results). She has a cool girl aura instead of a bookworm vibe: she introduces him to David Bowie's "Heroes." We are obsessed with David Bowie more than ever after the scene of them blasting “Heroes” in the car.


Beauty and the Beast

Just when we think she is done with children's stories and playing a princess, she reboots one of our favorite Disney films and fairytales: Beauty and the Beast. While it has not been released yet and we know very little at this point, we do know Emma Watson returns to bookworm ways as Belle. This time she will not deal with the beastly Ron Weasley, but she will deal with a legitimate beast. We have one overwhelming question: will she sing?

There you have it: Emma Watson loves playing bright adolescents who are often princesses. We are not sure where her future leads her, but we do hope she continues fighting for feminism and performing in book adaptations. Are you up for some Virginia Woolf, Emma?

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at