Emma Watson: The Progression of the Fan-Favorite 'Regression' Actress

From 'Harry Potter' to 'Regression'

Though Harry Potter star Emma Watson has ambitions beyond film – she has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations since 2014 and has been a strong supporter of pro-women causes – millions have fallen in love with her as an actress ever since the first Harry Potter film, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. While Watson once considered quitting the Harry Potter series and acting altogether, she has continued to act after the conclusion of the Harry Potter films and has since starred in a variety of films. As moviegoers have seen Watson grow from a preteen to a young, here is how she has progressed from child wizard to acclaimed actress.

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The Harry Potter Series (2001 - 2011)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Warner Bros.

Though this might seem like a bit of a copout, lumping all of the Harry Potter films makes sense. During this ten-year period, Watson only appeared in one non-Potter film, lending her voice to 2008's animated feature The Tale of Despereaux. Audiences watched Watson grow up before their eyes as Hermione Granger, one of Harry Potter's best friends at Hogwarts and a frequent companion during his many adventures. She has been praised for her growth as an actress across the eight Harry Potter films.

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My Week with Marilyn (2011)

My Week with Marilyn
The Weinstein Company

Watson's first post-Potter role was in My Week with Marilyn, a biopic about the iconic Marilyn Monroe while she was shooting the 1957 movie The Prince and the Showgirl. Watson appeared in a supporting role as a wardrobe assistant named Lucy on the film. Having to share the screen with Michelle Williams playing Monroe in a magnetic performance was probably a thankless task, but it showed that Watson was not a one-character actor and that there was more to her than just Hermione.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Summit Entertainment

In perhaps her most acclaimed role outside of the Harry Potter movies, Watson played a leading role in the film adaptation of the popular 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Watson portrays Sam, a high school senior who befriends a shy freshman played by Logan Lerman. Though set in a high school, the mature themes of the film demonstrated that Watson was growing as an actress.

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The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring

Based on a true story about a group of young thieves who robbed celebrity homes in California, The Bling Ring featured Watson as a member of the ambitious group of robbers named Nicki. Her character was based on Alexis Neiers, who later starred on the short-lived E! reality television series Pretty Wild. Though it was a supporting role, Watson received the lion's share of praise from critics for her comedic performance in the film.

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This Is the End (2013)

This is the End
Columbia Pictures

Watson was one of the many actors and actresses who played "herself" in the end-of-the-world comedy This Is the End, and if this movie's version of Emma Watson is anything like the real one, she is one tough gal. Watson appears midway through the film when she crashes James Franco's mansion during the apocalypse to find shelter. When Franco and his fellow survivors -- including Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson, all playing themselves -- begin discussing the obvious issue of one surviving woman among six surviving men, Watson shows she's nobody to be messing with. It's perhaps the funniest cameo in a film full of hilarious celebrity cameos.

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Noah (2014)

Paramount Pictures

Watson's next role was a very high-profile one, starring aside Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly in director Darren Aronofsky's Noah, an adaptation of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. Watson portrayed Ila, the wife of Noah's son Shem, who plays a pivotal role in the film in ensuring the survival of the human race after the Great Flood and Noah's growing fear of the wrath of God. Interestingly, the film reunited Watson with her The Perks of Being a Wallflower co-star Logan Lerman, who played one of Noah's other sons, Ham.

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Colonia (2015)

Screen Media Films

In Colonia, Watson portrays Lena, a young woman whose romance with her boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Brühl) is interrupted by the 1973 Chilean military coup. The film chronicles the lengths that Lena must go to in order to rescue her boyfriend from Chile's secret police. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews.

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Regression (2015)


Watson explores a new genre with Regression, a psychological thriller about a satanic cult in 1990 Minnesota. Watson portrays Angela, who is believed to be a victim of sexual abuse. However, a detective, played by Ethan Hawke, believes there is more to the story and investigates, discovering that Angela's abuse is tied to a sinister secret organization. The film was written and directed by Chilean-Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar, who directed the 1997 film Abre los Ojos, which was later remade in English as Vanilla Sky.