Emma Watson has retired from acting, she’s gone ‘dormant,’ according to her agent

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Update by CB: Watson’s manager, Jason Weinberg, has issued a terse statement saying she’s not retired. He said “Emma’s social media accounts are dormant but her career isn’t.”

The last time Emma Watson was on-screen was 2019’s Little Women, a film I hated and a film which was poorly cast across the board. Emma barely turned up for any Little Women promotion, which I noted at the time. She did one magazine cover and one premiere, while the rest of the actresses (plus Timothee Chalamet) had to do a big promotional tour for several months. Emma has not signed on to any films after that, and there have been zero “casting rumors” around her either. So this was an obvious piece of news in the Daily Mail’s Talk of the Town column:

I thought only woodland creatures hibernated for winter, but apparently petite actresses do too. Emma Watson has gone ‘dormant’ according to her agent. That appears to be movie-speak for she’s ‘given up acting’.

I can reveal the Harry Potter star, who has been famous since she was nine, has decided to step back from the limelight to spend time with rumoured fiance Leo Robinton, who she’s been dating for 18 months. I understand that for several weeks until January, Emma, 30, and Leo – who reportedly makes a fortune selling legal cannabis in LA – secretly lived in Ibiza where she would spend mornings reading the papers over smoothies at a vegan cafe.

She is now in LA, where a picture was taken this month, but her publicist confirms her career is ‘dormant’ and she ‘is not taking on new commitments’.

[From The Daily Mail]

I know Emma has a big fanbase – and I like her too, as a person – but this is not the worst thing in the world. Emma is not a great actress and even in the last few films she made, her heart did not seem into it at all. In recent years, she’s mostly used her fame and platform to talk about feminism, literature and self-education. Which is totally fine! Normalize that – normalize actresses stepping away from their acting careers to pursue their real passions! I don’t even believe that Emma stepped away from acting just for a guy – I think she’s been looking for a way out for a while, and this just happened to be good timing for her.

Emma Watson at the world premiere of Little Women at the Museum of Modern Art on December 7, 2019 in New York city.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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53 Responses to “Emma Watson has retired from acting, she’s gone ‘dormant,’ according to her agent”

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  1. JT says:

    She’s made her money, now she can just live her life. That’s the benefit of being apart of such a large franchise like Harry Potter, you have the complete financial freedom to do as you wish.

  2. Tiffany says:

    She’s taking a break to regroup. That’s cool.

    If the right script and paycheck comes along, she will be back. And that is her prerogative.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      I wondered that too and if this isn’t just not so subtle bullying by her agent and publicist to force her hand… and make them money? When I first read the header I thought “we’ve all gone a bit dormant during the pandemic.”

  3. Case says:

    I really love Emma Watson as a person and how she’s used her platform outside of her acting. She is passionate about feminism and reading and that’s why I’ll always support her as an on-screen and IRL Belle. But overall, she’s not a particularly strong actress and I think a life of education/activism might be a good move for her and something she really cares about. She has always come across very smart and in control of her life. Good for her if this is a choice that makes her happy!

    Side note: Greta Gerwig’s version was definitely my favorite film adaptation. I loved it, and I thought Emma was pretty good in it.

    • Lexy says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said. I’m not sure why the adaptation gets so much grief, I really liked it and I thought Emma was pretty great in it. It’s not a role that will received any awards, but it was pretty solid.

  4. SarahCS says:

    Good for her. She can probably live comfortably for the rest of her life with what she has invested even if not another penny comes in through the door. Chill and do what you really care about.

  5. Eleonor says:

    She is rich as hell, she doesn’t need to work, if she wants to do something else that’s her right.

  6. Lisbeth says:

    She’s been acting since she was a child; I hope she gets to live the life she wants!

    • Sigmund says:

      Exactly! Plus, children stars don’t always go on to have the most healthy views of life and work. Much better for Emma to practice some boundary-setting now and prioritize her own well-being.

  7. HeatherC says:

    IMO she’s looked disengaged during any promotional tours and even at award shows/red carpets. No one should be in a job they don’t like or have outgrown if they have the resources to change. Good for her!

  8. Lightpurple says:

    Good for her. She has other interests and an education and financial stability, she can do what she wants.

    ETA Haven’t most of them gone dormant during Covid? There aren’t many things being made right now.

    • Sigmund says:

      Nah, there’s still lots of actors signing new contracts. Some are even filming now, thought not all.

  9. Snuffles says:

    Not surprised at all. Out of all the HP kids, she was the least interested in continuing. They had to beg her to finish the series and she only agreed if they accommodated her going to college. She’s always been more interested in getting an education, advocacy and philanthropy.

    Still, I don’t think she’ll NEVER return to acting. She will for the right role. Hell, I could see her moving into producing or directing in the future. But maybe she just wants to get married and have babies right now.

    Good for her! All of those HP kids (especially the trio) are financially set for life. I’d love to have that kind of freedom.

  10. BRobertson says:

    Genuinely sad to hear this, but good for her! I wouldn’t really be surprised either, considering she’s been MIA from the public eye in general for a while now.

    Honestly was hoping she’d do more roles after Little Women, because I really thought she did a great job as Meg even though her role wasn’t the most attention-grabbing part of the film. I feel like she gets dismissed a lot, but she has had some really good performances. Even still, I do get the impression she’s more interested in her personal life and activism, and wonder what she gonna do next

  11. Faithmobile says:

    I think going dormant is such a 2020/2021 mood. We have all been through a lot and it’s time to shed the things in our lives that used to define us but no longer do. Good for her.

  12. Aphra says:

    Good for her. Love her work for women’s rights.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    Emma seems like a really nice, sweet person who is very passionate about her causes and TBH I think focusing on them is probably a good move for her. She wasn’t the greatest of actors and tended to play herself.

  14. Becks1 says:

    Agree with everyone else – I really like her activism but her acting is not the strongest, so its not really surprising to hear that she’s taking a break for however long. She’s Hermione Granger, she’s set for life and is part of movie history. That’s pretty good for going dormant at 30.

    • Ann says:

      I agree as well. I like her as a style icon and advocate, but I don’t think she’s a very strong actress. In fact I was kind of annoyed that she was cast as Belle, a role that could have been a real break-through for an unknown actress who could also actually sing. I’m not convinced she’ll never act again, she might if the right role comes along. Maybe she’ll produce/direct. Anyway, sounds like she’s doing great. Good for her.

    • Becks1 says:

      Okay just for added context I’m looking it up now – its hard to get actual figures, but I’m seeing estimates of around 60 million for Harry Potter (15 million for each of the Deathly Hallows movies, or maybe that’s for the two?) and I think thats just based on salary, not anything else she might get from box office returns or residuals etc. She had a back end deal for Beauty and the Beast – the article I”m reading says that if the movie made 750 million worldwide she would have gotten around 15 million (and it made over a billion I think, right?)

      So just between Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast she is set for life.

      • Granger says:

        I would say she didn’t need Beauty and the Beast to be set for life. 🙂 The amount of money she made off those two films would set a dozen people up for life!

  15. observing says:

    Maybe she’s dormant because there’s a pandemic.

  16. L4frimaire says:

    She will forever be cashing checks from the Harry Potter franchise so can definitely take a break and do whatever she wants. I haven’t seen much of her adult work ( Bling Ring- meh), she was just ok in Beauty and the Beast. I can’t believe she’s already 30. She never took off as an young adult actress the way Saoirse Ronan did, and think would have expected to. Maybe she’s just burnt out and wants to take a break and reset.

  17. Bettyrose says:

    When I recently referred to Emma Stone as the coolest Emma I thought surely someone would come at me with Emma Watson but didn’t happen. I feel like we’re all on the same page here. Who isn’t going to have affection for little Hermione? But girl is massively rich with an Ivy League degree and an interest in social causes. And yet her name doesn’t draw me to a movie. There’s so much she can do with her life. Take some time to mull it over with vegan smoothies and a hot fiancé.

    • Harper says:

      I’m forever grateful that Emma Watson gave up her role in La La Land to do Beauty and the Beast instead, leaving the role open for Emma Stone (my favorite Emma too). Good for Emma W. if she’s taking a breather. FYI, Emma W was spotted in Montecito this week so maybe she’s meeting up with H&M to partner with them in some Archewell good works.

  18. Midge says:

    We all make career changes and some of us choose not to work outside the home at all. She has more money than god and started acting as a kid. She’s due for a change. Her agent sounds like an ass.

  19. Aeren says:

    Good for Emma. She can do whatever she pleases without worrying about money. I too would like to be “dormant”.

  20. Abby says:

    This is such a snarky piece from her publicist?? wow. IMO she’s made scads of money, she doesn’t ever have to work again. She obviously has other interests, and WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC. Hardly anybody is working on movies, as far as I can tell.

    Also, I loved her to bits as Hermione, but I haven’t loved her as much in anything else. I think she’s smart and passionate, and there’s a lot more you can do for good in the world than be an actress, if your heart isn’t in it.

  21. JHo says:

    She’s been acting for 20 years, in the military’s she’d be up for a pension now. Good for her, I hope she lives her best life!

  22. LizzyM says:

    I’ll have to disagree re casting for Little Women as I thought that Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet have great performances. Emma was the one I was the least impressed with in that movie.

    Good for her if she had decided to pursue other interests that are closer to her heart.

    • BRobertson says:

      I really just can’t agree with that, Emma was an excellent and really likeable Meg in LW. I get it wasn’t a huge role and that Saoirse and Florence gave excellent performances as well, but I really don’t think it’s fair to dismiss Emma as a weak-link in the movie when she really did so well.

  23. FilmTurtle says:

    In light of the recent reckoning over how the media treated young women like Britney Spears, I can’t help but think of how Emma was hounded and sexualized from the moment she turned 18 and even before then. I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to step away from the grind.

    Also, as someone mentioned upthread, most actors haven’t been working in a year! She had a plum role in an A-list feature… in 2019. In 2017, she was the lead in an A-list feature from Disney that grossed $1 billion, FFS. She’s not exactly living a hermetic existence.

  24. Cee says:

    So she basically has more than enough money to chill and do whatever she wants.
    I mean, that sounds golden to me! Wish I could do that, too lol

  25. Teresa says:

    She’s beautiful and rich and seems to have a good heart. If I was in her position I too would choose my partner over work. And I do believe that she makes philanthropic efforts so again good for her =)

  26. molly says:

    There are so many celebs who should do this exact thing and would be better for it. Take that pot of money and do exactly what you want in whatever beautiful city you want. You don’t have to hang around bad movies if it’s stopped being fulfilling. Go be rich in peace and quiet!

    • bettyrose says:

      This exactly. It’s one thing when acting is your heart and soul, but if you’re mostly in it for the celebrity and glamour, know when to cash out those chips. (Note, that’s general commentary not specific to EW who started exploring other options at a young age).

  27. Nina Simone says:

    I wish I could do this! Explore my passions while knowing I don’t have to worry about money. More power to her. She’s always taken an unconventional path so I’m proud of her for knowing herself well enough to do this.

  28. Leah says:

    If I was 30 and a multi millionaire I’d retire too. She’s been under a spotlight since she was very young so I don’t blame her for wanting to take the rest of the millennium off to do her own thing.

  29. Veronica S. says:

    She gave up her teen years to be famous and probably made plenty of money. I’m sure she’ll figure out something plenty more fulfilling to do with her life. We should honestly be normalizing that more for child stars. So many don’t know how to exist outside of the spotlight.

  30. Dollycoa says:

    Fair play to her. She was the worst actor out of the Harry Potter crew, and none of them are setting the acting world alight. She gave up to do a degree and I think did a postgrad. She doesnt need to act when shes not good at it and shes intelligent enough to do other things. Her agent is probably pissed that their cash cow has disappeared.

  31. FF says:

    I’d like to thank you, Kaiser, for saying she can’t act. The one fim I saw her in was so horrible a performance, I will actively avoid her in anything else.

    Glad to have it confirmed I’m not missing anything.

    • BRobertson says:

      I don’t know what film you watched, but she’s given some great performances in The Bling Ring, Colonia, Perks and Little Women imo

  32. sassafras says:



    Emma Watson’s Publicist: EMMA WATSON HAS GONE DORMANT!

    I think we know who wants to get paid.

  33. Faye G says:

    Maybe acting is no longer her main passion in life, we all grow and change and maybe she’s found something else to devote her time to. I do like her activism so let’s hope she becomes a force for good in the future

  34. observing says:

    Maybe she’s gone dormant to grow out her bangs.

    I know I don’t want to be seen on Zoom right now.

  35. Newbee says:

    LOL, her IG says it’s a “dormant” account. Weird choice of words for social media. (She’s an Eng Lit grad.) I would be more casual since it’s SM and say she’s taken a hiatus from updates for the time being.

    I like her activism too and she seems genuine about it. She seems to only date “elite” biz or tech people though; it’s like George Clooney lecturing us on being more egalitarian but going on and on about his unicorn wife, which Emma doesn’t do about her partners admittedly.

    Yes, she’s a horrible actress, really terrible (that movie she did with Dan Stevens as a lead showcased how little she’d grown as an actor). She could pivot to just being a public figure and model/spokesperson for brands. Boy, would I love to have USD$80 million lying around; I’d retire ASAP.

  36. Kath says:

    I think Dan is the only one out of the main trio that really is into acting. Rupert has talked about retiring too…

    • Newbee says:

      Got the impression Rupert is really into property development.

    • Jenn says:

      Rupert Grint is amazing on the Apple TV series Servant. He plays a wealthy dirtbag, and it’s literally the best character. I’d be really sad if he decided against continuing.

  37. Tilewa says:

    Now I feel old! How is she 30?!!

  38. Jenn says:

    As the kids say: I love that for her.

  39. nah says:

    She’s always been a mediocre actress, but I’ve always respected the fact that she was one of the firsts in Hollywood who proudly labeled herself Feminist when just doing that would get you labeled as “difficult.” She seems like a nice woman and I wish her luck.

    That said, wasn’t she on the run for a role in the new Doctor Strange movie? I’m pretty sure she was offered the role of Benedict Cumberbatch’s love interest (yuck). Maybe this is a ploy to gather interest in her before it’s revealed she’s playing that part. idk. I hope I’m reading too much into it and she’s actually devoting her life to what she seems to like: activism.