1. Emma as a person – overall impression
At first glance, Emma seems to be a very fierce person, who wants to be perfect at everything she does (acting, school, modelling, etc). I think she is also clever enough to make good choices when she has to make big decisions (such as choosing university over acting).
However, I get the impression that Emma does not really know what she wants (or at least not yet), because very often, her actions contradict the things she says.
Her official site is the “Website of British Actress Emma Watson”, yet she has not done any acting outside of Harry Potter (apart from a TV drama Ballet Shoes). She says she is a natural blonde, yet she announced her “hair would go blond” for Ballet Shoes (why would it go blond if it already IS that colour?). She says she is a completely normal girl, and yet she wears high fashion at every opportunity (which neither Rupert nor Dan do to that extent). She buys a house (or flat?) in London weeks before moving to the USA for three years. She claims that she is looking forward to living a regular life without being a star, yet moves to the USA where (as she should know) the paparazzi are much worse than in the UK, not to mention her repeated appearances at events where she gets papped (Rupert has been incredibly successful at avoiding them, so why not Emma?).

2. Emma’s acting in Harry Potter – is she a good Hermione or not? And why? How important is canon in this respect? What did you think of her performance in Half-Blood Prince as opposed to other films?
First of all, after 6 films, it’s hard to imagine someone else playing Hermione. I liked her as Hermione in the first two Harry Potter films, but much less ever since Prisoner of Azkaban.
Hermione (in the books) is not supposed to be the almost-perfect girl she seems to be in the films. In the books, Hermione is not as beautiful as Emma, esp. considering her bushy hair. Since Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione in the films has been styled in modern and tight fitting clothes; her hair became straight and styled, and most of the scenes showing Hermione’s insecurities and imperfections were not in the script (which is not Emma’s fault, but it influences the impression the audience gets immensely).
Many people can relate to Hermione in the books because she has insecurities, she has difficulties making friends and being accepted. Hermione in the films has been turned into a beautiful Hollywood-like heroine, who I cannot identify with as much as with Hermione from the books.
I had expected more from Hermione in Half-Blood Prince. Compared to Lavender Brown, her infatuation with Ron was minimal. Her “Excuse me I have to go vomit” sounded more annoyed than hurt.
It also seemed slightly unusual for Hermione to try to impress Slughorn by claiming her parents’ profession was dangerous. Hermione usually tries to impress with her cleverness, not with her (or someone else’s) courage.

3. Emma’s acting outside Harry Potter (Ballet Shoes, The Tale of Despereaux)
I have only seen Ballet Shoes (Despereaux would have been dubbed in my country and therefore no Emma’s voice anyway).
She played Pauline with much more ease than Hermione, and came across as much more believable. I loved the scenes of Pauline’s castings and her emotional scenes.
However, Emma herself (and I think the casting agent as well) said that Pauline’s life had more parallels to Emma’s than Hermione’s, so maybe she could simply put more of herself in Pauline’s character than she can when portraying Hermione.
Although she was good, I think the girl who played Posy was still better than Emma.

4. The fact that Emma didn’t do many roles outside of Harry Potter – a good thing or not?
If she wants to continue as an actress, no. To me, despite having seen Ballet Shoes, I can only imagine her as Hermione. I cannot imagine her in action movies, or in comedy, or in psychological or political films. I could imagine her in romantic roles, but as she has not had any really romantic scenes yet (as it’s all in Deathly Hallows), I’m not sure how believable she will be.
Emma has said that she uses modelling to break out of being stereotyped, but while she may look pretty or interesting in the shoots, it does not help me see her as an actress, but simply as a dressed up Hermione.

5. Emma’s looks – overrated or not
Emma is pretty, or at least seems to be as I’ve never seen her in person. That seems to be important for Hollywood, so if that is where she wants to go at some point, it might be important. However, good looks alone do not make her a good actress.

6. Emma as a style icon – is it a good thing for the Harry Potter franchise overall, or not?
I don’t think it has much of an effect on the Harry Potter franchise in terms of gaining or losing fans.
I don’t like that Emma influences Hermione with her fashion sense, however. Hermione in the books never seemed to be that interested in fashion (more like “I get dressed so I won’t walk around naked”), and too insecure to dress up as much as Hermione is in the films, not to mention her constantly wearing pink.
The fact that Emma is so interested in the fashion industry makes her less of the girl-next-door type, though. Her presence at fashion shows, always getting high fashion for whatever event she attends, makes her constant “I am still a normal and natural girl” bragging slightly unrealistic, because how many “normal” girls get to wear Chanel or Burberry?

7. Emma’s ambition and plans in life: acting, or modelling, or university, or all these
She is very ambitious and think it is a good thing. Her decision to (possibly) give up acting, at least for a certain time, was probably not easy, but I think she will be able to juggle university and acting, especially in the US.
However, I cannot imagine that she will be left alone by the media when she studies in the US (I assume she’d be “safer” in the UK), and even less when she goes into modelling. If she ever has a modelling job during a stressful time at university (exams), she will risk looking tired and unhealthy, and, particularly as she is very thin anyway, the media will certainly make sure to mention bulimia. So she’d better be careful.

8. The way Emma treats Rupert in interviews and public appearances
I get the impression that Emma likes Rupert, and that Rupert likes Emma. Just like siblings.
They have sat in the Harry Potter rollercoaster together and they (and Dan) can probably understand each other like no other.
During the Half-Blood Prince promotion, I got the impression that Rupert and Emma were much more at ease around each other, but also further apart than ever before. Maybe it was the fact that they had shot their kiss already and a lot of the underlying tension was gone, which in turn made them more relaxed.
On the other side: only a few weeks are left before Emma goes off to university, which means that their time together at Leavesden is almost over (even if Emma comes back to shoot more scenes later on, the step across the pond comes soon). And not only that, but their lives, which have been similar (acting, red carpets, more or less paparazzi, a safe job with a steady, lucrative income) are over, and both have chosen ways that could not be more different:
Emma wants to leave the show business, she has a boyfriend with whom she has moved into a house, and she is about to leave the country and her family.
Rupert on the other hand has said he wants to continue acting, and all his recent photoshoots seem to prove that he wants to get noticed as an actor. He still enjoys his happy family life and has been pretty successful at keeping away from the paparazzi.
I could also imagine that Emma admires Rupert a lot for being somewhat relaxed (at least on the exterior) about his future, because (as mentioned before) she doesn’t seem to be very sure about what she really wants.

9. Emma as a Ron/Hermione shipper
Errr… yes. She seems to like the idea of R/Hr, but the way she has been talking about the kiss during the Half-Blood Prince promotion certainly took away a huge part of excitement for many fans.

10. Your expectations: Emma in Deathly Hallows I and II, and beyond Harry Potter
I cannot imagine that Emma’s portrayal in Deathly Hallows will be much different to what we have seen before. In the set pictures, Hermione is obviously still dressed very modern and still has straight hair. I hope Emma will make sure the Ron/Hermione scenes will be emotional enough.
I think she will focus on her studies and modelling after Harry Potter as well as her private life (Jay?), and maybe return to film in a few years. I don’t see her as one of the actresses who are constantly doing very different roles, but she might fit well into the romance department (or films about fashion a la Devil Wears Prada).

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