Hermione Granger will return this weekend with the opening of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," the London stage production of the official eighth book in the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling. But Emma Watson, the face of Granger to millions of fans worldwide in the film franchise, will not be there.
When "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" officially opens Saturday in London's West End, Olivier award-winning stage actress Noma Dumezweni will be filling Watson's shoes. The play is set decades after the events in the last book and film installment of the franchise and producers needed an older woman than Watson to play Granger. So what has Watson been up to since starring in "Harry Potter"?
Well, anyone who has not been living under a rock knows that Watson, unlike a few of her co-stars, never left the spotlight. The British actress, now 26, has continued to be one of the most recognizable women in Hollywood. Her status as a popular celebrity crush, combined with the cache of "Harry Potter," has made her a popular target for the tabloids.
However, Watson has never seemed to court that attention. Immediately after the final "Harry Potter" film in 2011, Watson started taking roles in moderately budgeted dramas and buzz-worthy indies. She had a supporting role in 2011's "My Week with Marilyn" and in 2012 starred in Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" and an adaptation of the popular coming-of-age novel "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." The later, thanks to the source material's large following, was a big hit.
Watson followed up that success with a well-received and much talked about cameo as herself in the 2013 comedy "This is the End" and a supporting role in the 2014 biblical blockbuster "Noah." "Noah" was a disappointment at the box office and Watson has yet to score a big hit since, despite appearing in "The Colony" and "Regression" in 2015.
In recent years, Watson has made a bigger splash with her activism than her film career. The actress has been very active in promoting gender equality and women's rights globally. She has traveled the world advocating for education for women and in 2014 she was named a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador. That year, she gave a speech at the UN Headquarters promoting the HeForShe campaign. The speech went viral and has helped lead to many accolades for her humanitarian work.
Hermione would be proud.