Unlike most thespians her age (or any age, for that matter), Emma Watson's very first turn as a proper ~actress~ landed her instant icon status. As Harry Potter's brainy best friend Hermione Grainger, we grew up alongside her -- even now, on her 26th birthday, Watson remains as beloved by fans as ever.
Because although Watson's done her darndest to shift the narrative of her career since wrapping the final Harry Potter installment with roles in adult films like The Bling Ring and This Is The End, in her real life, she embodies the exact traits (intelligence, compassion, altruism) that a grownup Hermione would have today.
How so? Let us count the ways.
For one thing, her humanitarianism is at full tilt right now.
Much the same way that Hermione founded S.P.E.W. in response to house elf injustices (except with many more members), Emma Watson has arrived as a full-time humanitarian and feminist as U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and #HeForShe advocate.
She even recently committed to taking a year off from her day job to completely immerse herself in the process of self-betterment on the philanthropic front.
She doesn't appreciate derogatory labels.Warner Bros.
Call Hermione a "mudblood" and you're just as likely to earn yourself a sock in the nose (ask Draco Malfoy about that) and the same goes for such nay-saying about Emma Watson. She's not going to stand back and let you insult her into silence -- see also: her response to being called a "feminazi" -- because, like Hermione, she knows her own worth and value to the cause.
Let's not forget she has any Ivy League education.
Brown University would certainly be a Hermione-approved educational institution -- even if their curriculum isn't riddled with O.W.L.s.
Plus, she's a cat person.A24
Would Crookshanks make nice with Bubbles and Domino? The world might never know.
Her parents have very muggle-y jobs.Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
They're reportedly a pair of lawyers, going about their daily lives like they're one step removed from the coolest thing on the planet.
Most importantly, her idea of a good time is getting lost in the pages.
In addition to bettering herself and becoming more equipped to take down the patriarchy, Emma Watson is also spending her camera-free year curled up with a new book every week which is the entirety of Hermione's retirement plan.