Why Emma Watson Wanted To Back Out Of The Harry Potter Franchise

When it comes to the "Harry Potter" franchise, the heart and soul of both the books and movies are, of course, the fearless threesome: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. 

In the eight "Harry Potter" films, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, respectively — roles they originated when they were between the ages of just 10 and 11 (via USA Today). Given their very young ages, director Chris Columbus worked hard to warn the trio of the downsides of fame, especially at a young age. 

"We're just working, it's just a movie," Columbus said back in 2001. "I try to instill that in the kids. I tell them: 'No weekend at Michael Jackson's house. None of that stuff. Do not go. That happened to Macaulay. Don't become seduced by this whole star thing. It's empty."

That being said, being thrust onto a global stage as a child is not an easy thing for anyone. Eventually, Radcliffe found that he was relying heavily on alcohol while performing. "The quickest way of forgetting about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk," he said on "Off Camera With Sam Jones" in 2019. "Then as you get very drunk, you become aware that, 'Oh, people are watching more now because now I'm getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more,'" he added. 

Emma Watson also struggled with young fame

Emma Watson also reckoned with young fame while on the set of "Harry Potter," and about halfway through the movie series, she even considered leaving the franchise, Us Weekly reported. This reveal came from Rupert Grint during the trailer for "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts," which debuts on HBO Max on January 1, 2022. 

"You were considering pulling out," Grint says to Watson, adding, "I've never really spoken to you about that." Watson then admits, "I think I was scared. I don't know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point where you were like, 'This is kind of forever now.'"

"The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way," Watson adds, sharing that she felt "lonely" during this period. Although being close friends in real life, at the time, the trio didn't really dissect their feelings about fame with each other. "We never really spoke about it. I guess we were just going through it at our own pace," Radcliffe says. "We were kind of in the moment at the time. It just didn't really occur to us that we were all probably kind of having similar feelings."