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The internet loves a good celebrity retirement story — almost as much the inevitable follow-up about a star coming out of retirement — and the British actress, beloved by audiences after landing the role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies at age 9, was in the headlines for just that this week.
It started with an article in the tabloid the Daily Mail about how, since she's been famous for most of her life, she's stepped back from the limelight to spend time with her partner of nearly two years, Leo Robinton. For several weeks at the end of the year, she "secretly lived in Ibiza," where she spent mornings "reading the papers over smoothies at a vegan cafe" with Robinton, a businessman who earned his money through a legal marijuana business. It also claimed Watson may be engaged and also possibly "wants a family."
The tab said she's now in L.A., but her "publicist confirms her career is 'dormant' and she 'is not taking on new commitments.' ... That appears to be movie-speak for she's 'given up acting.'"
Not taking new commitments — during a pandemic when roles are fewer and filming more complicated due to COVID protocols — quickly escalated to: Emma Watson is retiring.
There were a lot of feels about the fake retirement news:
Emma Watson retiring is something very personal to me. No I will not be getting over this pic.twitter.com/1DKfYZZGNo
— I like book boys (@Iambarelyahuman) February 24, 2021
what do you mean Emma Watson is retiring??!!!
— emmanuel is in WandaVision mode (@__lemmanuel__) February 25, 2021
me when i read that Emma Watson had retired: pic.twitter.com/wYZ2Jc79Of
— nat (@witchblackwidow) February 25, 2021
EMMA WATSON IS RETIRING WHAT DONT TALK TO ME PLEASE pic.twitter.com/VhzgKHg5VY
— ً taya (@outerspaceharry) February 25, 2021
emma watson retiring this is a devastation pic.twitter.com/4kjrnFGlBh
— luca pinned (@jlmful) February 25, 2021
But it was all unnecessary devastation. Since then, Jason Weinberg, who is Watson's manager at Untitled Entertainment, told Entertainment Weekly it's untrue, saying, "Emma's social media accounts are dormant but her career isn't." (When contacted by Yahoo, Weinberg pointed to his statement in EW.)
It has been a few years since Watson had a leading role. A scroll through IMDb, shows her last was Little Women in 2019. Prior to that, she was in The Circle and Beauty and the Beast, which both came out in 2017.
But in 2017, she was on the list of Forbes's highest-paid actresses in the world for earning $14 million that year. And, let's face it, she already has millions in the bank. In 2010, she recalled the "money conversation" she had with her father, an attorney, at age 17 when he informed her for the first time that she was a multimillionaire. Leading up to that, she had been given $75 a week in allowance and was completely in the dark about how much she was making in all the Potter movies
In addition to acting, Watson has served as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador since 2014. She's advocated for the empowerment of young women and was behind launching UN Women’s HeForShe campaign promoting gender equality.
Celebrities retiring or "leaving Hollywood" always seems to draw interest. Whether it's Cameron Diaz's long movie-making break to start a family (while also writing a book and starting a wine business) or Michael J. Fox who has stopped acting due to health reasons. Rick Moranis recently coming out of retirement — after taking time to raise his kids as a widower — was celebrated. Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement in 2017 and has stuck to it, so far. As has Gene Hackman, who made his last movie in 2004 — and probably won't come out of retirement now at 91.
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