As excited as we are for borderline troublemaker Emma Watson and her rumored new deal to become the "face of Chanel" at 18, the $6 million contract comes with a curse or two. The French cosmetics giant has been airbrushing celebrity visages in ad campaigns for years, but its most recent short-term star partnerships haven't always ended amicably, nor have they resulted in the kind of chaste and glossy reputation sources predict for Watson. Though a friend insists that "She's not going to end up like these other Hollywood train wrecks, she just isn't...No one is going to be saying, ‘I never wanted to see Hermione in that light,'" we took a look back at her quilted bag-carrying predecessors to shine a light on the kind of controversy this same wallet-fattening gig has earned its celebrity reps in the past.
Despite having represented Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle fragrance in addition to appearing in campaign after campaign as the brand's moody red-lipped rep since 2001, Kate Moss and her contract were kicked to the curb months after the supermodel's famed cocaine tape hit the tabloids in April 2005. Though Keira Knightley was loudly announced as Moss's replacement, Kate very quietly usurped a bit of Keira's thunder by re-entering the house of French glamour after her comeback hit its stride a year later. But by far the most publicized partnership between Chanel and star occurred when Nicole Kidman appeared in a short film directed by Baz Luhrmann to promote her new role as iconic fragrance Chanel No. 5's porcelain-faced embodiment.
But all the hullabaloo and fanfare came to a stop when Kidman became pregnant, irking Chanel and causing them to pull yet another switcheroo, hiring fellow French star Audrey Tautou to take over the reign. As Tautou's star remains lukewarm, industry insiders began buzzing with the surprising and off-kilter news that none other than heiress to the grunge throne, Frances Bean Cobain, would begin appearing front and center as Chanel's new ad girl. But Cobain's upward momentum towards the fashion world's limelight never materialized, and having perfected the art of sudden blows, Knightley is now rumored to be ousted as Watson prepares for her year or so of acclaim and glossy ads. We just hope Emma manages to keep the apparently very short attention spans of the Chanel bigwigs, or at the very least, has the stamina to turn her inevitable drug- and Britney-flashing downfall into a glittery comeback like Kate.