Exclusive! Emma Watson Interview
Over the past 10 years we’ve proudly watched elfin-like star Emma Watson develop from a bushy haired adolescent to a stunning model, designer, sartorial queen and, after her recent performance in the grand finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, a bona fide actress.
Unlike most child stars Emma hasn’t matured into a fame hungry actress, instead, much like her character Hermione Grainger she’s refreshingly wise – she studying at the famous Brown’s University; she’s sensible – unlike co-star Daniel Radcliffe she hasn’t fallen victim to any addictions; and she cares about the environment – she’s the mastermind behind eco-friendly fashions for brands Alberta Ferrretti and People Tree. Emma is the new breed of Hollywood actress. Here the 21-year-old spills the beans on growing up in the spotlight and why it’s not all over just yet...
How did it feel filming your last ever Harry Potter scene?
The last shot we did was this kind of strange moment where we dive into the fireplace in the Ministry of Magic. It was actually for Part 1, not Part 2. Dan, Rupert, and I, one by one, jumped onto these blue safety mats, and that was the shot; that was it. It seemed like kind of a strange one to go out on, but, actually, [director] David [Yates] made the point that we were leaping into the unknown; it was kind of like a perfect metaphor for what we were about to go into. It was so funny. I can't tell you how I felt when we were shooting it. I think I was sort of numb.
How did it feel finally saying goodbye to Potter?
It's so funny, this film, obviously, was incredibly challenging for me. It really pushed me as an actress, but, at the same time, I was able to use a lot of my own genuine emotion that I felt about loss and all of it coming to an end, and I was able to bring how I was feeling to the role. A perfect example of that was the scene where we stand on the bridge after the battle. I remember feeling exactly how I guess Hermione would be feeling, which is kind of, ‘Wow, this is all coming to an end; look at everything that we've achieved.’ The set was built looking out over Leavesden Studios, which is where I grew up, essentially, and spent the last 12 years. So, yeah, not much acting required, really. It was all there for me.
What character traits do you share with Hermione?
Not so much now, but I guess an earnestness, an eagerness to please and do the right thing, and terrified of ever getting into trouble. I'm very heady in the same way that she is, kind of constantly thinking three, four moves ahead. I try and intellectualise a lot, which she does as well. She's very determined; I am as well. I like to think that I'm very loyal in the same way that she is. I'm a bit of a feminist, and I’ll speak my mind. I feel as though so much of me went into her, and so much of her went into me. I can't really differentiate too much anymore; it's all a bit of a blur.
How do you feel you've changed over the last 10 years?
Obviously, when you go from the ages of nine to 21, there are so many changes that are inevitable – that’s just part of growing up. So, it's hard to say what isn't part of that natural process, and what else has happened. But I went from being a nine-year-old schoolgirl to having a job. And I've learned how to be an actress, and how films are made, and how to interviews, hopefully.
How has it developed you as an actress?
The last two, Part One and Part Two, for me, really stand apart from all of the rest. The quality is amazing. And the role, the depth, and how much darker they get really gave me a chance to stretch myself as an actress, and really feel like I was an actress. Because, actually, for the first however many years, I didn't really feel as though I was doing much acting at all. I feel like I can say I'm an actress and really believe in that.
What’s it like being such a recognisable figure now?
There's nowhere in the world I can go, I was in a shanty town in Bangladesh and a boy stopped me in the street and said, ‘You're the girl from Harry Potter.’ It's absolutely amazing. It reaches all corners of the Earth, and the least expected places that you would expect. I was like, ‘Wow, this is incredible.’
How do you cope with fame?
It became easier to handle once I accepted it. It was something that I grew up knowing, and that was a process that happened gradually. I've never known anything else, so, in a way, I guess that's a blessing.
In Potter the characters are put through tests of bravery, what’s tested you in real life?
I feel young girls are sold this idea that they have to be this kind of princess and be all delicate and fragile. I identified much more with the idea of being a warrior and being a fighter. I think sometimes women are scared of feeling powerful, and strong, and brave sometimes, but I think that’s something you've got to embrace. It’s funny, coming out of this, I'm constantly doing things that are new, so that takes bravery. But I think it's just trying to have faith in yourself, and believe in yourself, and know that it'll come right in the end, hopefully.
Plans after Potter?
I'm going to travel this summer, which I'm really excited about. And, obviously, change is always scary, but I feel really excited. I feel like I'm entering a new chapter, like I get a fresh start, and there's something really exciting about that. So, travelling this summer, and I'm going back to school in the fall. I've got two years left until I complete my degree. I don't know about doing Broadway. Dan [Radcliffe] is so ballsy. I mean, I would love to do something on Broadway. I think I need to pluck up some more courage, but I’d love to sing at some point; yeah, I love singing...