Why People Thought Harry Potter Actress Emma Watson Was Retiring From Acting

Screenshot from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Emma Watson is still a well-known name in varying circles and she’s kept quite busy through the long months of the pandemic. Many of these have been passion projects, including weighing in on ethical and sustainable fashion by joining the sustainability committee at Kering (owner of brands like Gucci) in 2020. She’s also a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and has helped to bring awareness to events like COP26 and much more. 

What she hasn’t been busy with is acting, and in fact she hasn’t appeared in a movie or any other acting project since 2019’s Little Women. So, I suppose it’s not a huge surprise that people would be invested in the chatter when rumors swirled that the Harry Potter actress was retiring from acting.

How The 'Is Emma Watson Retired?' Rumors Got Started

Early in 2021, a report rolled around over at The Daily Mail indicating that Emma Watson was, in fact, retiring from acting. Allegedly the Harry Potter star’s agent mentioned that Watson has gone “dormant,” and the UK outlet had apparently taken that as an indication she had retired from Hollywood. However, that’s not actually what Watson’s agent meant when the term “dormant” was bandied around. 

Instead, the move prompted Emma Watson’s manager, United Entertainment’s Jason Weinberg to come out and clarify that statement (via EW). The word dormant, instead, really should have applied to her social media accounts at the time. His blunt statement? 

Emma's social media accounts are dormant but her career isn't.

These days, Emma Watson isn’t even fully dormant on social media. The actress was previously active until the summer of 2020 on Instagram and her final posts before taking a break had to do with racial inequality and social justice, posts that were put up around the time of the Breonna Taylor story during the pandemic. It was after that time that her account went dormant, that is until a few weeks ago, when she began posting about COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference. 

In more recent days, Emma Watson has posted a ton, mostly to do with causes she feels passionate about, including climate change and meeting Al Gore. But she took a hiatus from this to head back to her Harry Potter roots, providing further evidence that she’s not “retiring.

Harry Potter Fans Should Be Pumped For What Emma Watson Is Doing Next

HBO Max has put together an anniversary special around 10 years after the final Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 hit theaters. That special will be available on the streaming service beginning on January 1, 2021, so you’ll be able to ring in the New Year with some Harry Potter magic.

HBO Max has started getting fans hyped for the special, called Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts. In fact, we've seen first look trailers and more, but there's been some stuff from the cast as well. In fact, Emma Watson used her newfound return to social media to talk about her time in the Wizarding World and what that has meant to her in the life she's built in the years since. You can see her touching post, below. 

She's not the only one to touch base about the special, either, as Tom Felton shared a delightful tease when the returning cast was seemingly on set and ready to film the streaming special in the U.K. For more details on who is showing up, check out our Return To Hogwarts guide

As for Emma Watson retiring, the actress will at the very least make an appearance in the special, and that is confirmed thanks to some first look photos. She doesn't currently have any other acting gigs lined up, but that doesn't mean she's done with Hollywood, either. We'll be here the next time something big and new is on her plate, or if the rumor mill gets riled up again, of course. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.