After Year at Oxford, Emma Watson Postpones Return to Brown

We are sorry to break the news to the Brown University Class of 2016, but Providence will be a little less magical than you expected. Emma Watson, one of Brown’s token celebrity/witch/normal students, will be taking another leave of absence to work on her Hollywood street cred, the university confirmed.

Although several news outlets are trying to portray this as a “career crossroads,” with Watson choosing between a barrage of movie offers and her everyday life at Hogwarts Brown, it seems that she is committed to completing her course load. A spokesperson for the actress said, Her plan is to resume her studies in January in order to complete her last semester before graduation. Brown has been very flexible regarding her filming commitments.” We’re sure they do that for all their students with a hectic international filming schedule.

This is just the latest extension of Watson’s self-imposed separation from Providence. In March 2011, Watson announced a leave of absence from Brown, which turned into a yearlong study abroad at Oxford (where she apparently went by the exceptionally British alias “Humphrey Appleby”). Now it seems that she won’t be back on campus until January 2013, close to two years since she first left.

We will continue to miss Watson’s droll observations about weird American formalities such as our need to drink beer out of red plastic cups after the ritual exchanging of ping pong balls, instead of, you know, out of a glass and with less ping pong balls. To get you ready for her post-Potter career, here’s the trailer for her upcoming adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower:

Update: “Humphrey Appleby” is Emma Watson’s Oxford Alias

In our last post, we reported that Emma Watson was using the name of a character from the 80’s sitcom Yes (Prime) Minister in order to conceal her movement from her Oxford classmates and the bloodthirsty British press. Though we were right about her alias being that of a Minister character, we were wrong about which one it was. (We’d guessed Dorothy Wainwright.) A tipster set us straight:

Humphrey Appleby is Emma’s pseudo-secret pseudonym … Emma having the name is basically some play on Hermione Granger’s being very keen on rule-abiding, bookish, nagging etc. in Harry Potter much like Humphrey Appleby on the show.

The tipster adds, “The name is phonetically absurd and yet, at Oxford, not that strange-sounding sadly. I think it’s a quite clever solution.”

Clever, yes. But we wonder if Watson’s choice here indicates some desire to be found out: Sir Humphrey Appleby is a famous figure in British culture, after all. (Much more so than Dorothy Wainwright, at least!) It would like Justin Bieber trying to pass himself off as Robin Williams at…Yale. (Bad comparison—though Bieber would TOTALLY go to Yale.)

Here’s Wikipedia’s description of Appleby, who is played by Nigel Hawthorne:

Sir Humphrey represents, in many ways, the perfect technocrat. He is pompous, arrogant, elitist and regards his less-well-educated minister with some contempt. He frequently uses both his mastery of the English language and even his superb grasp of Latin and Greek grammar to perplex his political master and to obscure relevant issues under discussion.

Watson’s camp has not yet responded to our inquiry about her alias. We’ll update if they get back to us.


Exclusive: Emma Watson Avoids Oxford Classmates With Pseudonym Inspired by 80’s Sitcom

UPDATE: Emma Watson’s Oxford alias is “Humphrey Appleby.”

A few days ago we received a rather elaborate tip about certain Ivy League students currently studying at the University of Oxford—their antics, their social circles, their awkward acclimation to all that impressive architecture. One of those students was Harry Potter superstar Emma Watson (Brown ’13), whose tenure at Worcester College was described to us thusly:

Emma Watson has mostly been hanging out “in college”, living under a pseudonym that’s actually quite clever (i.e. not Hermione Granger)…She was much more active during first term and then decided quite perceptively that having a public life isn’t very interesting—so she doesn’t spend much time among Brightest Young People at Oxford.

We weren’t able to find anything about her clever pseudonym, so we asked our tipster for some clarification. Was it some other Harry Potter character’s name? (Too obvious.) A Tolkien reference? (Too weird.) In fact, our tipster tells us, Watson takes her alias from a successful political sitcom aired in the 1980’s:

It’s a character from Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. And particularly funny given that everyone expects her to be pompous and she’s anything but.

After corresponding with the tipster some more, we’re pretty sure this is legit. Emma Watson really does appear to be avoiding contact with her Oxford classmates by using a character’s name from a British television show. From the 80’s, no less! (We’ve put an inquiry into Watson’s P.R. firm, and will update if we hear back from them.)

Minister, Wikipedia tells us, is a “satirical British sitcom” set in “the private office of a British government cabinet minister in the (fictional) Department for Administrative Affairs.” Aired between 1980 and 1984 (and then 1986 and 1988), Minister was “a huge critical and popular success” that appears to combine The Office with The West Wing. The show has a small connection to the Harry Potter universe, too: one of its directors, Jonathan Lynn, directed Wild Target, starring Rupert Grint, which came out in 2010.

But which character is Emma pretending to be?! Keep reading!

Read the rest of this entry »

Huffington Post Confirms That No One Can Stand Brown Students

Today in irrelevant college rankings: Arianna Huffington sat down at her computer, stared thoughtfully into space for a few moments, and then declared her intentions aloud, in the Greek accent that I can’t help but imagine any time I read quotes from her (it’s becoming a problem): “Let’s do a list of the most heepster colleges in America,” she said. And so it was done. And so, Brown showed up in the list’s #6 spot, sandwiched between Portland State University and Colorado College, neither of which we were able to reach for comment, through the thick fog of hydroponic pot.

So, there are a lot of hipsters at Brown. In fact, “Brown is a paradise for hipsters,” the ranking declares. In other news, the sky is blue, and no one likes Ivy League bohemians.

The truth of the matter is, though, that the Brown genus of hipster isn’t precisely the same as the garden variety, Keffiyah-toting Brooklouse hipster. You have to factor in a dollop of over-the-top privilege and even more pronounced lack of self-awareness. To drive home the difference, please enjoy another excerpt from the greatest take down of Brown ever written:

They were on campus now. No one seemed to be looking at her. Everyone’s hair was in their eyes and was also wearing platform sandals so they were really concentrating on walking. One girl walked into a tree. She cursed in French, wrapped her four yards of hair up in a Pucci scarf and answered her phone. “Hello? No way. Go fuck yourself. Hahahaha.”

Happy Friday.

Happy Harry Potter Day! Emma Watson is Staying at Brown!

Obviously no good news could possibly eclipse tonight’s release of the eighth Harry Potter movie (watch the trailer again, you know you want to), but this comes pretty close. Contrary to earlier reports, Emma Watson is not leaving Brown, just taking a year to study English at Oxford. Kinda like when she and Harry took the year off from Hogwarts to find the horcruxes, you know?

Reports were widespread earlier this year that Watson had been bullied out of Brown (people shouting “10 points to Gryffindor” whenever she answered a question in class), but apparently those rumors were untrue — Brown students have been as kind and welcoming as house-elves.

“I’ve never even been asked for an autograph on campus. I threw a party for nearly 100 students, and not a single person put a photo on Facebook,” [Watson] said. “Anyway, even if I was being given a hard time, I wasn’t going to wuss out of university because someone said ‘Wingardium leviosa’ to me in a corridor, or ‘Ten points for Gryffindor.’

“I’ve been dealing with the media since I was 9. If I can’t stand up to a few people giving me a hard time, it’s a bit pathetic, really. I’ve had so much worse.”

Yeah, like encounters with basilisks and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. No clue what I’m talking about? Shame on you, and watch this great five-minute roundup of all seven films.

Brown-Bashing Reaches its Kerastase-Scented Apogee (Featuring Miss Emma Watson)


Emma Watson looked out of the window of Pembroke Hall onto the intersection of Angell and Prospect and watched the line of vintage jean-jacketed 20-year-olds blowing on their Americanos and clutching copies of To the Lighthouse and Of Grammatology.

So begins the most pithy, delightful, and mother-fucking complete take-down of the Brown mythos that this humble writer has ever had the pleasure of reading.

Ostensibly inspired by Emma Watson’s whole “boys are afraid of me” shtick from earlier this week, author Sarah Miller launches into a spectacular hypothetical that plays through Watson’s first couple of days in Providence, back in 2009. As the willowy actress attempts to navigate the post-hygenic hellscape that is Brown, she encounters an entire society of bohemo-fascistic trust-fund babies too distracted with incorrectly interpreting Heidegger to even notice, much less appreciate, her presence. From that point, we’re quickly able to identify the root of all Ms. Watson’s problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Watson Is Actually Leaving Brown For Good

Hermione Pixiedust Granger always just wanted to be a normal college student. But the cruel, post-hygenic bohemians at Brown just wouldn’t throw her a bone. Not wanting to do anything drastic, she decided to defuse the always pernicious state of Watsonian student relations by doing things like complain about it to British Vogue. (Shocking that didn’t work, right?)

So now, Emma Watson is finally, definitively, once-and-for-all, getting the hell out of Providence. A spokeswoman told the Associated Press this weekend that Watson will be transferring away from Brown to pursue “a different course not offered” there. But where will she go?!

Apparently, Watson was spotted at NYU in February, and rumors abound that she may transfer to the New York diploma factory’s “Gallatin School of Individualized Study,” which presumably means she would never have to confer with anyone but other wispy, doe-eyed actresses ever again.

Apparently Emma Watson Left Brown Because She Was A Total Freakshow

Now that Emma Watson is on hiatus from Brown, you might think we no longer have any reason to talk about her. Wrong! That scarlet letter “B” is forever. And in true Emma Watson fashion, she’s giving the presses plenty of postmortem fodder about her failed attempts at Ivy League “normalcy.”

The New York Daily News reports, inexplicably, that Watson is still hung up on the whole “I just want to be an ordinary zillionaire with Gwyneth Paltrow’s haircut from the nineties” schtick. Things that apparently encouraged her to leave Brown, apart from her thriving career as the face of Harry Potter Land:

1) She got heckled in class for participating, mostly by people who liked to yell “Three points for Gryffindor!” whenever she correctly identified a bezoar commented on geopolitics in Burkina Faso. This, according to the NYDN, is evidence of the “sophisticated wit and cinematic expertise of her Ivy League peers.” We’d actually venture that it’s evidence of a few too many nights spent on the futon smoking dope and listening to Jim Dale on tape–but hey, what do we know?

2) She and her orange-vested security unit had a hard time fitting in with the regular folks. And her freshman-year roommate was kind of weird about the whole “strict confidentiality agreement” thing. (We know the feeling–not being allowed to sell the contents of your celebrity roommate’s shower caddy on Ebay is, like, the pits.)

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again: Emma’s chances of being a “normal girl” aren’t going to get any better if she keeps popping up in gossip rags. Perhaps acting in a movie that doesn’t involve wizard robes would help to staunch the spate of Hermione jokes. Or maybe she should talk to James Franco about how to be a normal person, since he’s clearly got it down.

Ragtime: Spring Break Archives Edition

Since most Ivy Dailies are starting on long-term features stories on Spring Break, we went to the abyss of the archives for today’s RagTime.

ALERT: Emma Watson Taking a Leave of Absence from Brown

Shock! Gasp! Woe! Emma Watson announced on her website today that she’ll be taking time off from being a student at Brown. No, she isn’t dropping out, per se. (Yet.) She say’s she’ll continue working towards graduation after focusing more of her attention on acting in the near-term. Congratulations to Brown’s newly anointed most-famous-undergrad: Scout Willis.

Watson’s complete message is pasted in below:

Hi everyone

As you know, I love Brown and I love studying pretty much more than anything but recently I’ve had so much to juggle that being a student AND fulfilling my other commitments has become a little impossible.

I’ve decided to take a bit of time off to completely finish my work on Harry Potter (the last one comes out this summer) and to focus on my other professional and acting projects. I will still be working towards my degree… it’s just going to take me a semester or two longer than I thought :)

Hope you are all well! Thank you for all your continuing support.

Emma xx