While writing about Emma Watson being your new Manic Pixie Dream Girl last night, I stumbled across the same opinion expressed by several Tumblr users after seeing her The Perks of Being A Wallflower trailer:
Emma Watson has a thing for being in movies in which she is in a best friend trio.
When you think about it… yeah, Emma’s biggest roles have been as one-third of a dream team. It’s a pretty striking pattern once you go through her IMDb page. Except for her small role in My Week with Marilyn, Emma’s been cast in three-person dream teams: Young wizards chased through London by the Dark Lord’s minions (Harry Potter, duh), sisters dreaming of fame (some TV movie called Ballet Shoes), or high-school misfits (Perks). Even her new film The Bling Ring has Emma as the alpha female of a quintet of greedy rich kids.
So, is this Emma’s acting crutch, tantamount to Blake Lively‘s need to dye her hair to get in-character? You could argue that this is all that Emma knows; after all, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which she shot at age eleven, was her film debut. So really I’m mostly trolling you—we know that Emma Watson’s a talented actress. That was never up for debate. It’s more a question of if she naturally gravitates to strong trios because that’s the on-screen relationship she spent the last decade honing.
What saved Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 from being too ponderous was Hermione as the common link between the oft-estranged Harry and Ron. We saw her dancing with Daniel Radcliffe in their tent while listening to their friends’ names among the missing and dead over the radio; but her real fear was for Rupert Grint, separated from them by misunderstanding and magical circumstance. You can already tell that there’s a similar dynamic at play in Perks: Emma’s character Sam immediately ensnares Logan Lerman‘s protagonist, but she has a deep relationship with her gay stepbrother, played by Ezra Miller.
Who can blame Emma for taking on these roles that necessitate a trio? There’s definitely an appeal to watching three actors who have fine-tuned their performance to the point where you can see how intimately their characters are connected, and all the fascinating crushes and rivalries contained therein. However, it seems that she is aware of the danger of getting pigeonholed and has taken on a film where she doesn’t rely on two BFFs: Your Voice In My Head, where she plays a young woman who attempts suicide but is rescued by a psychiatrist who’s dying of cancer (Stanley Tucci).
Photo: Rama’s Screen