Emma Watson is repelled by Hollywood but can’t seem to pull out of its orbit. Ever since landing a role in the “Harry Potter” series as a pre-teen, she’s fought to prevent stardom from defining who she is. But the fight inside her head still rages.
The last Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” hit the big screen going on six years ago. The stars, Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have gone their separate ways.
Watson had a chance to walk away and did her best to do just that. She cut back on her film schedule and went to college.
“I was finding this fame thing was getting to a point of no return. I sensed if this was something I was ever going to step away from it was now or never,” she says.
She kept one foot in the game with minor roles in films like “My Week with Marilyn,” Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Noah.”
Now she’s back in with both feet, and the love-hate relationship with celebrity is on again.
She even flirts with nudity in new March issue of Vanity Fair feature. How Hollywood is that?
“I’ve been doing this since I was 10 or 11, and I’ve often thought, ‘I’m so wrong for this job because I’m too serious; I’m a pain in the ass; I’m difficult; I don’t fit,'” says Watson tells the magazine.
“But as I’ve got older, I’ve realized, ‘No! Taking on those battles, the smaller ones and the bigger ones, is who I am.'”
So for now, she’s making peace with herself and continuing to live in both worlds.
The private Emma is intent on carrying out her role as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on women’s issues, a post she’s had since 2014. She speaks out often on feminism in the modern world.
She also pulls a Justin Bieber anytime she can get away with it, blowing off fans who want to take a selfie with her on the street. She explains the radical move:
“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not. If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data. I’ll say, ‘I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have but I just can’t do a picture.’ I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact. When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example.”
Watson says the whole process of celebrity clearly wears on her.
“I’d walk down the red carpet and go into the bathroom. I had on so much makeup and these big, fluffy, full-on dresses. I’d put my hands on the sink and look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Who is this?'” she says.
“I didn’t connect with the person who was looking back at me, and that was a very unsettling feeling.”
Watson return to acting includes her latest feature, a live-action adaptation of the Disney childrens’ classic “Beauty and the Beast.”
Her character, Belle, is “absolutely a Disney princess, but she’s not a passive character—she’s in charge of her own destiny,” she says. “When I finished the film, it kind of felt like I had made that transition into being a woman onscreen.”