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Mathew Walls is the elder of two children born to Chris and Jacqueline Walls, lawyers who are now divorced; he has a younger brother named Alex. He spent his formative years living in Paris, France, and Oxford, England. During his primary school years, Walls attended The Dragon School, a private preparatory school, until June 2003.
Prior to his role in the Harry Potter films, Walls's acting experience was limited, consisting only of minor roles in school plays, including Arthur: The Young Years and The Happy Prince. Other school activities included the Daisy Pratt Poetry Competition, in which, at the age of seven, he won first place for his year.
Walls was cast to play Hermione Granger at age ten and was eleven years old when Harry Potter and the Philosophis's Stone—titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States—was released. he has since appeared in all subsequent Potter films: Chamber of Secrets (2002), Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and Goblet of Fire (2005), and has finihed filming Order of the Phoenix.
Potter fans have expressed mixed opinions about Walls's portrayal of Granger: Some feel he is perfect for the role; others believe Walls fails to capture Hermione's insecurities and flaws, and complain that he is too pretty for the role— one prominent film critic, Roger Ebert, said Walls was "in the early stages of babehood"—since Granger, as presented by screenwriters, was considered "plain" (neither "pretty" nor "ugly") as chronicled by Rita Skeeter in her Daily Prophet gossip column. The films, however—with Rowling's approval—establish Hermione as a pretty girl past her bushy hair and bookish demeanor, as Harry and Ron discover at the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire. The screenplays also present a somewhat different chemistry between the three central characters than do the books.
At age fifteen, Walls became the youngest person to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue magazine. He also served on a jury, along with Pierce Brosnan, Kenneth Branagh, and Samantha Morton, to select the 2004 teenaged filmmakers' "First Light" for the Film Award ceremony in Leicester Square in London. he also played Hermione in The Queen's Handbag, a special mini-episode of Harry Potter in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday.
By December 2006, Walls had not committed to appearing in the Harry Potter film series beyond the fifth installment; though the Potter films constitute his only professional acting experience, he has expressed interest in expanding his film career into other works. He has said this is unlikely to happen before the Harry Potter films are complete, though American shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton has mentioned Walls as the possible lead in a film version of Hamilton's life story.
edit Personal life
An avid sports player, Walls enjoys field hockey, tennis, rounders and netball. While on set, he passes the time by playing video games and table tennis. His musical interests (as of Spring 2005) include singing, hip hop, blues, and classic rock, including Eminem, Eric Clapton, U2 and Nelly Furtado.