Is Emma Watson Only Good At Acting In Trios?

Emma Watson trio best friends Harry Potter The Perks of Being a Wallflower Ballet Shoes

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

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    • anon

      Tail of Desperaux is not a trio and she was in that.
      Basing this comment on 3 films is a bit far fetched. It also has nothing to do with her acting quality.
      This article confuses me.

    • Jay

      I take far more issue with her accent. It’s shaky and inconsistent (and isn’t the film set in Pittsburgh? she sounds like a valley girl crossed with a non-southerner doing a poor imitation of a southerner) even in the TRAILER, so how bad will it be in the actual film?

      She needs to either work on it, or do more British film as it seems her facial expressions have gone back to the Goblet of Fire to Half Blood Prince era of non-naturalistic, overdone acting; I can only blame her being too focused on trying to do the accent right. Kudos for trying, but she’s a trained actor and has been working for 12 years; she should be much, much better than this.

      She looks cute though.

      • Kris

        Give her a break. She began working on HP when she was just 9 years old. She was just a child who began acting with absolutely no training whatsoever. Since then, she’s been working on the same movie with the same character for 10 years. She got so set in her ways playing Hermione. She didn’t have the chance to branch out and do other movies. She didn’t have the chance to sit with a variety of actors and learn from them. People expect a little too much from her.

        But, that’s your opinion. I’ve read numerous reviews from fans that have seen the movie in advanced screenings/the trailer. The reviews are mostly positive. Yeah, there are negative reviews about her accent, but people seem to like her as Sam. A lot of people think her accent is pretty good, and they think she played Sam very well. For now, you’re in the minority on this one.

      • J

        She trained at a place called Stagecoach Theatre Arts. She had over 10 years to perfect an extremely well-written character and didn’t quite do that. ‘Didn’t have the chance to sit with a variety of actors and learn from them’? Maggie Smith, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman!!! Those people are some of the finest actors working today. If she didn’t pick anything up from them, she’s a slow learner, or not very observant.

        But of course, you are entitled to your opinion. I’d like to see some of the critics reviews that you’ve seen, because I’ve seen a few (unpublished as yet, still being edited, but nevertheless) and she is definitely considered the weakest link of the three leads. People that are fans of and have a childhood/teenage nostalgia towards Potter and Perks don’t really count – they’ll approve of whatever she does regardless. I’m talking about critics.

        She was 21 when she filmed Perks, not 9. No need to treat her with kid gloves anymore.

    • Tess

      The trolling part of the article is really the writer thinking Emma is a talented actress and that the whole world agrees. She has yet to prove her self. Being pretty and popular does not equal acting chops. Her accents slips in and out in the Perks trailer and if you watched the MTV awards pre-show her “Ryan Gosling is so hot” was so valley girl.

    • brittany

      Emma had time to do other movies if she wanted. Dan and Rupert found time in between potter films to do other movies. But I agree the rest of the world don’t believe she can act. I can’t not yet anyways.