On this day in 2007, English actor Emma Watson signed on to appear as Hermione Granger in the final three Harry Potter films after much deliberation.
Just 16 years old at the time, the young star reportedly refused to sign up for the last two instalments – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts one and two – despite being offered more than $4 million per film.
Watson said she was sick of playing Harry Potter’s know-it-all friend and wanted to expand her acting repertoire.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, had both signed up to see out the rest of the globally popular series, which follows the life of an 11-year-old orphan who discovers he is a wizard.
Watson finally signed the dotted line on March 23 amid rumours entertainment company Warner Bros upped its offer.
And their persuasion paid off; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was the highest-grossing Harry Potter film, generating an enormous $2.2 billion worldwide.
Since appearing in all seven Harry Potter films, Watson, an activist and a model, has taken steps to branch out beyond her role as Hermione Granger.
She is a United Nations goodwill ambassador fighting for gender equality.
In 2014, she launched her HeForShe campaign with the UN, which reportedly inspired Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai to identify as a feminist.
More recently, in 2019, Watson starred as Meg March in Greta Gerwig’s Academy Award-nominated adaption of Little Women.