Published 09/07/2011 | 05:00
Character: Hermione Granger
Date of Birth: April 15, 1990
First appeared in Harry Potter: aged 11 Estimated fortune: €25m
•Emma Watson eclipsed Angelina Jolie as Hollywood's best-paid female star in 2009 even though prior to landing the role of Hermione Granger she had never acted professionally.
But while Radcliffe always seemed to wear his wizard's cloak with boyish confidence, Watson suffered from the insecurities of growing up in the limelight despite her stunning good looks.
"I used to beat myself up a lot about my appearance," she says. "I freaked myself out about having a receding hairline. I mean, crazy, ridiculous stuff. I went through a phase where I didn't like my eyebrows. And I thought my ears stuck out and I had bad teeth."
To cope she often buried herself in books, so much so that in 2006 Warner Brothers was almost left looking for another actress to take her place for The Order of the Phoenix.
The filming schedule conflicted with Watson's final high-school exams, which would have meant putting off college, "and I just wasn't prepared to let it go", she said at the time.
Warner was ultimately forced to reschedule the shoot around her studies to help her pass her exams. Last August, Watson also sought refuge in academia and enrolled in Browne University in Rhode Island. However, she soon dropped out amid rumours of bullying.
"I was in denial," she says refuting the bullying rumours. "I wanted to pretend I wasn't as famous as I was. I was trying to seek out normality, but I kind of have to accept who I am, the position I'm in and what happened. I have had no control over my life. I have lived in a complete bubble."
Escaping from the spell cast by the Harry Potter phenomenon is easier said than done. But Emma's new drastic pixie haircut shows she is eager to shake off the Hermione look.
"I think it's about me having my own identity," she says. "I'm very much associated by my hair with being Hermione."
Emma, who is recently single having split from musician George Craig last year, has been carefully crafting her new post-Potter image with a series of sexy photo shoots for the likes of Harpers Bazaar. While her co-stars have long pursued other acting roles, she is only branching out now after filming the biopic, My Week With Marilyn, and currently shooting The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
However, after admitting that "LA scares the crap" out of her, she hopes to take a short career break and study English at Oxford University in September. As for her acting plans, she says: "Everything else is up for grabs, really."