In her 26 years, Emma Watson has already lived a bunch of different lives — chill college student, cheer-worthy activist, and the face of one of Hollywood’s most beloved franchises.
In honor of her big day, we look back at a handful of the times she inspired us over the past year.
2. When she totally owned being called a “feminazi.”
“We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you’re ‘difficult’ or a ‘diva.’ But there’s a willingness now to be like, ‘Fine. Call me a ‘diva’, call me a ‘feminazi’, call me ‘difficult’, call me a ‘First World feminist’, call me whatever you want, it’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens.’ Because it doesn’t just affect me.”
3. When she embarked on a 1-year sabbatical to focus on activism.
She revealed she’s taking a year away from acting to focus on her work with the UN — and to finish some required reading. “My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club,” she told bell hooks in an interview with Paper. “I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening. I want to listen to as many different women in the world as I can.”
When she talked women’s empowerment with Malala.
“I hesitated in saying am I feminist or not,” the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai told Watson in a Q&A session ahead of the premiere of I Am Malala at the Into Film Festival. “After hearing your speech, when you said, ‘If not now, when? If not me, who?’ I decided there’s no way, and there’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a feminist. I am a feminist and you’re truly feminist, because feminism is another word for equality.”