As she expands her post-Harry Potter acting resume with more diverse roles, former child star Emma Watson takes a dazed and subtly disturbing thief role in the Sofia Coppola film “The Bling Ring.” Here, she leaves behind her nice girl image to become a fame-hungry, home-schooled rich teen known for her infamous burglaries in houses of celebrities. Considered her nastiest and meanest role to date, there is nothing Hermione-like in this new character, which mainly features her as a materialistic, vain, and amoral girl from Hollywood.
A Teen Socialite and Gangster
In this cinematic offering, Watson transforms into a celebrity-fixated teen socialite whose posse robs the residences of stars including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, and Megan Fox. Following a privileged youth-gone-wild lifestyle, her character Nicki shows her breaking into celebrity homes to steal millions of dollars worth of jewelry and luxury items.
The young actress puts on a convincingly thick Southern California mallrat accent for her role. Although she addresses how she hates the type of character she plays in the story, this becomes quite a challenge for her as she asks herself how she can play a character she felt strongly against to. But at the end of it, she actually finds it interesting to realize how being an actress allows her to gain a wider perspective on things that she doesn’t understand that well.
Privileged Youth Gone Wild
Watson’s character is based on the real-life Bling Ring member Alexis Neiers, a misguided model, former reality show star, and convicted felon who takes a turn for the larcenous. The story shows her and her fellow gangsters partying, squealing over designer brands, and relishing the experience of stealing from famous people’s homes.
Diversifying Her Filmography
Since getting cast at the age of nine as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series, Watson has became one of the most instantly recognizable young faces in the industry. Now on her 20s, she steadily builds her filmography by selecting projects helmed by acclaimed filmmakers. After her decade-long Hogwarts stint working with the likes of Chris Columbus, Mike Newell, Alfonso Cuaron, and David Yates, she moves on with more projects with Stephen Chbosky in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Simon Curtis in “My Week with Marilyn,” and Darren Aronofsky in “Noah.”
This film clearly serves as a classic post-franchise reinvention for her thriving career. Expressing her preference to become a character actress, her choices for roles and directors help her push and challenge herself further.