Critic Says Emma Watson Is Too Pretty To Play Hermione In “Harry Potter”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” will hit theaters this Wednesday, July 15, and we can barely contain our excitement. We haven’t seen the film yet, but New York magazine reviewed it, saying some pretty nice things. One aspect that writer David Edelstein took issue with was how good-looking Emma Watson has become. While he says all three main protagonists have all grown up and matured, Edelstein doesn’t think Emma fits as Hermione anymore — she’s not nerdy and awkward enough.

But Emma Watson’s Hermione has turned out disappointingly. It’s not Watson’s fault she grew up so pretty, so poised, with such luscious tresses. But someone ought to have reminded the filmmakers that in this boy-centric universe, Hermione is the nerdy-wonky cutie with whom all girls, hot and not, could identify. Now she’s just another cover girl. I found myself wishing for more of the washed-out blonde Evanna Lynch and her glassy singsong as the space case Luna Lovegood, the last female reminder that Harry Potter began as a universe of misfits.

It’s a shame Edelstein takes issue with Emma’s looks. When the first Harry Potter film was produced, the casting directors were completely gambling how the kids chosen for Harry, Hermione, and Ron would develop as they went through puberty and grew up. Emma Watson certainly is a looker, but let’s not criticize her for that. Despite what tends to be depicted in pop culture, women can be pretty and still want to spend their free time hanging out in the library. If there’s an issue with Emma’s performance, fine. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

After looking at promotional photos for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” my only issue with Emma’s Hermione is that her hair is styled to perfection in loose ringlets. It’s not as bushy as it is described in J.K. Rowling’s books. As Edelstein wrote, the filmmakers should have worked a little harder to make her appear a less polished. But maybe it’s just that the characters are older now, and Hermione has simply learned how to control her uncooperative mane with proper conditioning and a boar bristle and nylon hairbrush. [NY Mag]