The enviable evolution of Emma Watson

It has become almost cliché to say that the Harry Potter kids have grown up nicely. They’re practically the poster children for, well, children who appear on movie posters yet still become perfectly normal adults. Each has matured gracefully in the spotlight without a hint of the sullen, unhealthy, entitled or otherwise illegal behavior that seems to plague so many other former child stars. And in my completely biased opinion, none of the Potter kids have done it better or more beautifully than Emma Watson.

With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I opening Nov. 19, the 20-year-old graces the covers of Marie Claire and Vogue UK, showing off her now famous pixie cut and talking about saying goodbye to Hermione Granger. But first, guys, we have to talk about her hair.

While I’ll admit the close crop took me a little getting used to, I can honestly say I love it now. It shows off her delicate features and makes her, if possible, even more pretty. Emma talked with Marie Claire about the cuts, saying:

I’ve wanted to do it since I was about 16, and when Harry Potter ended in June, I just needed a change. It was quite symbolic for me. It’s very short; it was buzzed at the back and on the sides. And it’s really liberating that I can walk out without thinking about it.

Emma also spoke with the magazine about her famous normalcy. How, amid a sea of starlets going to rehab, getting out of rehab, flashing their lady business and getting all up in each other’s business, was she able to stay above the fray?

I do things in my own way, but I’ve never felt any need to rebel. To be honest, I’ve always had far too much freedom. I had a job when I was 10. I started living on my own when I was 17 or 18. I’ve earned my own money; I’ve traveled the world. What would I rebel against?

Now in her second year at Brown University, Emma seems to be having as normal a college experience as a multi-millionaire who is part of one of the biggest movie franchises in history and known by name across the globe can have. It helps to have good friends, she said.

Brown has a real sense of community, and people are very protective of me. They really look out for me; they want me to feel like I’m part of it. I threw my 20th birthday party at Brown, and I didn’t even have to say to anyone not to put pictures on Facebook. Not a single picture went up. That was when I knew I’d found a solid group of friends, and I felt like I belonged.

So what is next for the artist who, after Deathly Hallows Part II is released next May, will be formerly known as Hermione? She is currently filming My Week with Marilyn, about the iconic Ms. Monroe (who will be played by Michelle Williams). And she continues to develop her Fair Trade fashion line with People Tree.

Whatever it was that helped make Emma grow up to become the person she is – good parents, good support, common sense, uncommon smarts – I can’t wait to see the person she becomes next. She is one of the celebrities you feel can feel genuinely good about loving.

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