After mysteriously retiring from acting and disappearing from the public eye, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson is re-entering the spotlight.
Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has recently re-emerged on Instagram after “going underground”, and is finally set to grace screens again following a long and mysterious break from the spotlight.
The Warner Bros. films made household names of Daniel Radcliffe (as Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Watson across their decade-long box office reign, but in recent years Watson – who played Hermione Granger – turned her back on Hollywood, retired from acting and even let her social media channels lay “dormant” for more than a year.
Watson will reunite with her co-stars for the one-off reunion special, which will see the cast head back to the Warner Bros. set in London for the first time since they filmed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 more than a decade ago.
Her most recent successes were the 2017 Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, for which Watson was paid an eye-watering $19.7 million, as well as the Oscar-nominated film, Little Women, in 2019, which was her last film credit.
Since then, Watson not only retreated from acting but the public eye altogether.
The actress only recently returned to Instagram in October, having not posted on her social media channels since June last year.
Her bio on Instagram, which has 62 million followers, earlier read: “Emma’s official Instagram page is currently dormant and is not being updated”, alongside a black circle in her profile photo.
As of October this year, her bio says her official page has been “taken over by an anonymous Feminist Collective for Cop26”, referencing the Climate Change conference in Glasgow November.
While most of her posts since have been about raising awareness from the environment, presumably uploaded by those who have taken over her account, Watson did take to Instagram herself to celebrate the Harry Potter reunion when it was first announced in November.
“Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione still is my favourite fictional character of all time,” she wrote, alongside a baby-faced photo of herself, Grint and Radcliffe. “We hope you enjoy the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts which will stream New Year’s Day. Lots to look forward to.”
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It was a long overdue update from Watson, after her agent told the Daily Mail in February that she was “not taking on new commitments”.
The publication claimed Watson was enjoying her private life with her rumoured fiance Leo Robinton, who she has been dating for two years.
A source said to the publication: “Emma has gone underground, she is settling down with Leo. They’re laying low. Maybe she wants a family.”
The couple were reportedly living secretly in Ibiza for several weeks leading into January, spending their mornings reading the papers over “smoothies at a vegan cafe”.
Despite her high profile, Watson has always tried to keep her private life private, but that hasn’t stopped her from being hounded by the British press.
On her 18th birthday, Watson was photographed by paparazzi who were trying to take pictures up her skirt.
She has also had to deal with numerous stalking threats.
As a result of the public interest, Watson has never discussed her romantic relationships.
“I can’t talk about my boyfriend in an interview and then expect people not to take paparazzi pictures of me walking around outside my home. You can’t have it both ways,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017.
In June last year, Watson told Vogue she had joined the board of directors at Gucci-owned luxury goods company, Kering, where she chairs the sustainability committee.
“During this pandemic, like many of us, I have had time to reflect on the work I want to be involved with and what is meaningful to me moving forward,” she said.
“Having been so public in making films and being so active on social in my activism, I am curious to embrace a role where I work to amplify more voices, to continue to learn from those with different experiences.