‘Which actor would you like to play you in film’: are fans like their favourite films stars? 

April 13, 2017, 3:33 PM UTC

This week in the YouGov office we’ve been talking about Disney’s new live action film Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson. The film has broken box office records, earning £18.4 million in the UK, securing the fifth biggest opening weekend ever.

Disney have attempted to give the film a bit of a feminist revamp. Emma Watson, who rose to fame as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is well known for her feminism and plays the female heroine Belle. In an effort to balance the sexes, Watson has given Belle a career, in the new film we learn that, like her farther, she is a successful inventor.

This got us thinking, what if fans are like their favourite film stars? Are Emma Watson's followers also passionate feminists or avid readers (Watson is also known for being a book worm)?

We used data from YouGov’s Profiles tool to help answer this question. We looked at those who said that Emma Watson was the actress they would like to play them in a film or who had liked her Facebook page.

And while we were on the case, we also decided to take a look at the fans of other Hollywood celebrities starring in big blockbuster films in 2017.

Actor: Emma Watson
2017 film: Beauty and the Beast

A whopping 94% of Emma Watson’s fans described their political views as feminist. They were also 52% more likely than the national population to have liked Justin Timberlake on Facebook, JT is rumoured to be one of Watson’s favourite singers.  Watson has recently been in the news for hiding free books on the London Underground and New York Subway as part of a feminist book club. She is a big book worm and loves reading, however, YouGov’s data shows only 22% of her fans described themselves as avid readers, and this is compared to 27% of the national population.

Actor: Johnny Depp
2017 film: Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Salazar's Revenge

Johnny Depp is known for being eccentric and having some pretty unusual hobbies, according to the internet he collects bugs, fake moustaches and guns. His fans are 42% more likely than UK adults to say that Mexican is their favourite cuisine; Depp loves Mexican food.  52% of his fans also ‘really like’ stick insects (yes YouGov’s Profiles tool has data about bugs…). Interestingly, fourteen percent of his UK fans have given a donation to the charity Dogs Trust in the last 90 days, this is compared to only 4% of the national population, Depp is known for being a canine lover.  

 Actor: Julia Roberts
2017 film: The Smurfs

Knitting is Roberts’s favourite hobby and she uses it to kill time while on set. Those who said that Julia Roberts was the actor they would like to play them in a film, were 31% more likely to like knitting than the national population.  Another one of Robert’s preferred pass times is Yoga, in interviews she explained that the practice has helped her find inner peace. Like Roberts, just over half (51%) of her fans said that they ‘really like’ yoga.


In conclusion, from stick insects to the Dogs Trust and Justin Timberlake, it seems that there are definitely some similarities between fans and their favourite films stars! Here at YouGov we’d love to know what you think, who would you like to play you in a film? And do you and your favourite film star have any common interests or hobbies?