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Archive for May, 2013

The always awesome EmmaWatsonDaily has photos of Emma arriving at the airport.  She is expected to attend the premieres of This is the End and The Bling Ring on June 3rd and June 4th respectively.

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Emma was spotted looking casual in NYC yesterday.

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Rookie Magazine

I Want It to Be Worth It: An Interview With Emma Watson

We talk to the actor about her new movie, her other movies, and why she keeps 10 (10!) journals at all times.

I am probably one of four people my age who has never read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies,* but that seemed unimportant when I headed to Emma Watson’s apartment to interview her back in January. I’d just rewatched The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I’d been reading about some of her upcoming projects, so I had a squillion questions about the work she’s done since Potter ended and the work she’ll do in the future.

If you haven’t seen it already, Perks (based on the book by Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote and directed the film) is a flawless high school movie that will make you laugh and cry your eyes out in equal measure. Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, which comes out June 14, is based on a group of real teenagers who robbed celebrities’ homes in 2008 and 2009. I saw a screening of it in April (after this interview, unfortunately), and as soon as it was over I just wanted to rewatch it for all of eternity. Like any Sofia Coppola fan, I was psyched that Emma would be her next ingénue, but this movie is not pretty or dreamy, it’s insane and funny and scary, and I couldn’t believe how hard I was laughing whenever Emma did something as small as stare at her phone. Watch the trailer—you will DIE at the end:

Emma also recently filmed a leading role in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah, due out next year. It’s sure to be drastically different from anything we’ve seen her in, and I obviously can’t wait.

We sat at her kitchen table while she generously indulged my curiosity and Perks geekdom. Her cat slinked around the chairs, her roommate introduced herself and served some banana bread they’d baked together. It felt sort of like a gals’ lunch, or something that sounds less like a yogurt commercial. Emma showed me her journals and we all watched her favorite TED talk. Even though she’s been interviewed thousands of times over the 12 years since the first Harry Potter movie came out, nothing she said felt like a stock answer. Every word seemed carefully chosen, save for a few moments in which she let her thoughts carry her away, and then that was exciting in the way watching people think and seek and find is exciting. She also got almost as hyper as I did when we got to talking about Pretty Wild, and threw her head back in laughter when she admitted to getting through final exams with the help of The Carrie Diaries.

My dad came by after a couple hours and we started saying our goodbyes when I spotted her record player. The needle rested next to Joni Mitchell’s Blue, and I couldn’t help thinking about what a turning point that album signified in Joni’s career and life. Her first three records established her as a commercially successful and critically respected artist, then she decided to take a break from performing to travel and write these incredible songs where she just totally laid herself bare. Blue became a huge success. It’s widely regarded as her best album, and 42 years after its release it’s still gaining new fans, all of us attracted not just by Joni’s mindblowing talent but also by her honesty as she sings about her deepest secrets and desires.

Emma Watson seems to be writing her own Blue. She’s managed to protect her private life while using her work to reveal the kinds of vulnerabilities that feel the most private. It’s taken for granted that starting a career and becoming famous at a young age means sacrificing the space and peace necessary to learn about yourself or the rest of the world, but Emma has made time for both.

She also made time for me, and us, and this interview, and for that I thank her.

TAVI: I have watched Pretty Wild, the reality show about the real-life Bling Ring, so many times. I’m obsessed with Alexis Neiers, the girl you play in the movie. Have you heard from her about the film or anything?

EMMA WATSON: No, I haven’t. To be fair to Alexis, [my character] is like three steps removed from who she might be in real life. A lot of the material in the movie was based on an article which was based on a reality show, which we all know isn’t real life. I wasn’t trying to impersonate her—she just inspired the character. I watched Pretty Wild so many times to try and get her into my brain, though. It gave me anxiety. How do you watch it?

I think I have to pretend that it isn’t real. If you think about it too much it’s depressing. You have to shut your brain off and be like, “They’re not real people!”

But they are! Sofia filmed it in such a nonjudgmental way, though—she never tells the audience how they should feel about these characters, which I think might be quite unsettling for people who want to be told, “We should hate these people.” She made it so true to life, it almost feels like a documentary.

My final is tomorrow, so I’ve been living like a hermit. The only thing I have been watching—such a guilty pleasure, it’s the perfect study break ’cause you just don’t have to concentrate too hard—is The Carrie Diaries. Have you been watching it?

No!

[Laughs] So embarrassing to admit that! A 23-year-old that’s fully been watching The Carrie Diaries.

Not even.

Yep. No, it’s absolutely true. That’s been my study break.

What was it like working with Sofia Coppola?

It was a real dream of mine. I came to the part in a very roundabout way: I told my agent how much I loved Sofia’s work, and she’s like, “You should meet with her producer and [unofficial] casting director, Fred Roos,” and I did, and we got on really well, and that led to meeting Sofia, and she told me she was working on a project with young people in it. I read the script for The Bling Ring and I just got obsessed. For Sofia Coppola to be making a film which is a meditation on film and celebrity culture and what that all means, how it impacts society, and the psyches of young women in particular—I was just like, “OK, I have to be in your movie. I really, really, really want to be in your movie.” For my audition I went out and bought hoop earrings and this crazy hat like the one Alexis wears when she goes to see her lawyer, and I put on tons of bronzer and a fake tan—I just went full-out, and had the best time doing it. ’Cause it’s really the first time I’ve had to play someone who’s a real character, someone just so different from me.
Sofia is incredibly smart, but she doesn’t try too hard. She’s very, very careful about the casting process, because when we get to the set she just wants to give everyone the space to do their own work. That attitude is so conducive to making a really interesting film, because she’s completely prepared to switch around the scene that we’re doing on a whim. She’ll be like, “You know what, guys? The light looks really beautiful in the room next door, so let’s just not do this scene today, we’ll do this [other] scene instead.” And everyone just moves next door. As an actress working with her, you have to be prepared for anything, because she likes capturing organic things, transcendent moments, changes in the wind and sun—which is awesome because you feel like you’re really part of creating something beautiful, but also very unnerving for me because I’m used to being inside a studio at Harry Potter and being incredibly controlled and sticking to a schedule. So it was fun—it felt very freeing.

I’ve read that the process of filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower was also quite different from the usual rigid studio schedule.

Yeah, we shot it in six weeks. I never worked such long hours or so hard in my life, but it was also obviously the most fun. We did a lot of night shoots, and [after shooting] you have so much adrenaline running through your system, it takes a few hours for you to wind down, even though it’s like four in the morning. So oftentimes we would sit in the parking lot and—it sounds so cheesy—just watch the sun come up. When you make a movie on location, where you have to go and live somewhere outside your comfort zone, you have to create your own family, and you get so much closer than when you’re making a movie somewhere where everyone can stay in their own homes. And you’re all trying to create something, and through that creative process you make this bond that you wouldn’t really have under any other circumstances.

I got to work with Logan [Lerman], who plays Charlie, again in the last movie I did, Noah. He plays my brother, and it was great because we already had that chemistry; we didn’t really have to push for it. It was intimidating stepping onto that set, because [the movie] is Russell Crowe and Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Connelly, so to have Logan there was just immensely comforting.

My understanding is that you read the script for Perks and called your agent and said you wanted to do it, and you found out that it had been sitting on a shelf for a while because no one wanted to make it. Why did you think it was so important for this movie to exist in the world?

Well, I’d been reading scripts for two years before Perks came along, and nothing had really resonated with me in the same way. It was just on my brain, it was on my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It didn’t even occur to me that it wouldn’t be made, because Logan was already attached, and I’d met with Stephen [Chbosky] and it was like he’d been waiting 12 years, really, to make this film. Then I got a call saying that no one wanted to back it financially. So it took more than phone calls: I actually flew out to L.A. and met with all the different studio heads and basically pitched the movie, which was crazy—I’d never done anything like that before in my life. [The story] just really spoke to my teenage experience and my friends’ teenage experiences. I felt like I’d watched too much Gossip Girl and was just dying to see something that spoke to the kinds of issues that I’d encountered as a young woman. It felt unique, and like someone had really written it from the heart.

* I have nothing against HP, I just never got around to it! I didn’t expect it to be “my thing” when the first one came out (I was like seven) and then I was too intimidated to start because I was so behind. It’s on my reading/watching list, though, I swear.

I wonder what parts of the script resonated for you, despite the fact that you were clearly working on other things that were unique in terms of teenage experience. Not to sound accusatory! Because there are parts of the story that are resonant no matter what.

No, not at all! It’s funny, Perks was really hard for me to talk about, because I think the person that people imagine me to be is someone who hasn’t gone through a lot of the issues that are talked about in the movie. When people see me, I’m on the red carpet, perfectly dressed and styled, after two hours of hair and makeup. I’m putting on a show. So when I explain that I have moments when I feel dark or insecure, I understand how it might not really ring true, because there’s this weird double-life thing I have going on. But I really related to Sam and Charlie’s friendship, because I have a very, very close male friend who has been friends with me since I was 15, 16, and I know that sometimes you just need someone who sees you differently from how you see yourself to make you love and believe in yourself. I really related to that. And I have a stepbrother, David, and [our relationship] reminds me a lot of the relationship that Sam has with Patrick in the movie. Also, I went to an all-girls secondary school, and I know that feeling where you’re at school and it’s intense and that group of people [you know there] are the be-all and end-all, and what they think of you is how you think it’s gonna be for the rest of your life. What I loved about Perks was that it was a fable where school was like this ecosystem with its own standards and all these cliques, and you have to try to assign yourself to one of them. I so identified with that feeling [in the script] of, like, “I don’t feel accepted by this particular group of people, and therefore there’s something wrong with me.” And actually that isn’t the case. The world, especially when you get to college, really opens out, and things do get better.

Just yesterday my friend emailed me an article called “Why You Never Truly Leave High School.”

It’s so true! It’s crazy!

It’s horrible! I feel like it’s so easy to feel that way, but this article backs [that feeling] up with all these crazy studies about how certain fears really do stick with you into adulthood. It was kind of scarring. I think that even though you’re part of something larger—the rest of the world—that you can explore once you graduate, if there isn’t a place for you in high school it’s hard to remember that. It’s easy to feel like This is how I’ll be forever! You have to remind yourself, like, I’m 17. I’m going to change. Perks captured that fear so well but made me feel like it would still be OK.

It’s very hard, even though it’s true [that things will change], to overcome those feelings. I’ll go back to my hometown and I’ll go to the pub and see the guys I grew up with, and it’s so crazy—I immediately go back to who I was when I was 12, when I thought I was just totally inadequate.

I think a lot of insecurity has little to do with reality. One thing I think about a lot and talk about on Rookie is how embarrassed you can be of yourself, and how when you’re a teenager you change a lot and constantly try to get away from who you used to be—I think that’s intensified if you are at all in the public eye. Do you ever feel like that? Like, it’s not only the boys at home who can remind you of the “totally inadequate” person you used to be—it’s this whole public documentation of your life?

It’s called the impostor syndrome. It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird—sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.

I paint and I draw and I write and I do other things too, and recently some people at school were asking if I’d ever publish any of my [written] work. But I almost feel like I would have to publish it under another name—just because there’s a definition of me out there that feels kind of stuck in the moment when it was formed. I was 15 or 16 then, and I’m now 23. I’m not complaining, because people really have given me permission to evolve and have been very supportive of my work outside of Harry Potter. So I don’t feel too suffocated in that sense. But sometimes I’ve felt a little constrained by that idea of who I’m meant to be. Every article that’s published about me has some reference to Hogwarts or Hermione or magic or “What would Harry and Ron say?”

But I just can’t allow myself to get frustrated by that, because I’m really proud to have been part of Harry Potter and proud of the work that I did on those movies. And it’s understandable—you can’t expect people to adjust their expectations overnight. I think it would be stupid to try and fight it too much. But certainly if I were to do anything else, I think I would have to create another kind of identity for myself that I could do it under.

Why is it important to you to have other outlets like writing or drawing?

I don’t know what it is. I’ve always kept and collected things, and I’ve always been interested in the idea of diaries. I must have 10 different personal diaries: I keep a dream diary, I keep a yoga diary, I keep diaries on people that I’ve met and things that they’ve said to me, advice that they’ve given me. I keep an acting journal. I keep collage books. They’ve given me a place in which I can try to figure myself out, because those kinds of ideas feel too personal to put out into the public or even discuss with anyone else. It allows me to get things out of my head and work them out in a way that feels safe, which is really helpful. I can kind of try things out and play around with things.

That’s been a big part of what school has meant to me. I got famous very young, and [college] gave me a safe zone where I could figure things out without people projecting onto me their ideas of what they wanted me to be, or thought I should be.

Journaling is nice because no matter how hard something is to go through, you at least MADE something out of it, which is really satisfying.

Also, I think your thoughts are so much less frightening when they’re tangible, when you can see them on a page in front of you. And it’s less narcissistic and egotistical than releasing your own autobiography, which would be my worst nightmare. [Laughs] Maybe one day I would write some things out, but not for a while. Not for a while.

Though even when it is a private thing and there are no judgments, a blank page is still so intimidating. It makes me scared to even start.

I had an art teacher who said that there is nothing scarier than a blank canvas. Before he gave us our canvases he’d scribble or splash paint on them so that we didn’t have to work off this intimidating white space. I think there’s something to be said for that.

Richard Burton’s diaries came out [in December], and Elizabeth Taylor used to go through them and would write things in them—so he obviously wrote his diaries with the idea that people would read them, that they would be public. My diaries are very much written as if no one would ever read them.

I have, actually… [She gets up and goes to another room, and returns with a stack of books and journals.] This is what college does to you. You’re terrified of reading a book without a pen in your hand, because time is so much of the essence that the first time you read something, if you have an idea, you have to write it down, because there’s gonna be no time for you to read it again. So all of my books look like this. [Leafs through a book—every page is filled with notes and marginalia.] This is a really nice book that my dad got me in Venice. Everyone I’ve ever met who said anything interesting, everything is in here. Just so I remember these things.

Oh my god! You are so smart to keep all this!

Thank you! [Turning pages] So, I have Helena Bonham Carter, and this is Karl Lagerfeld—this is when he shot me for Crash magazine and I went to his studio in Paris. His studio is covered in books. He gave me two books which he illustrated, and he suggested that I should do that one day. He said so many funny things. This is Tim Burton. This is one of my acting teachers from RADA [the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art]…Jean Schrimpton… this is David Yates. Rupert [Grint] has a page. [Laughs] James Franco has a page. My mother has a page. I just get terrified I’ll forget things! [Finding a card in the stack of books] Oh, this is so cool—this is from the president!

No!

[Laughs] Yeah! That’s their dog! Isn’t that insane?

Totally! Is acting like journaling for you, like you’re figuring yourself out through a role?

Absolutely. But it’s actually through the characters whom I’m least like that I figure out the most about myself. Playing Nikki in The Bling Ring gave me such insight into myself—parts of me that I’m uncomfortable with, or that I don’t like. I realized through playing her that I can be so judgmental in a way that I wish I wasn’t. And I found things that I had in common with her, which was difficult as well.

The fact that you experience that feeling of insecurity that we talked about before, no matter how successful you may seem to be—I think that helped us see the insecurity in Sam [in the movie]. Like, there’s this thing Jodie Foster wrote where she said that as an actor you’re supposed to expose your vulnerabilities and the parts of yourself that you don’t like… I’m sorry, I just did my least favorite interview thing, where someone just says something instead of asking a question.

No, no! It’s so much nicer when it’s a conversation. If you just do the whole question/answer thing I end up repeating myself so much. When the other person offers new angles on things, you can hopefully say something new. But yeah, it’s funny: The day that I shot the scene where I had my first kiss with Logan, I just wasn’t feeling good—I was feeling really tired at this point, and that was my most important scene in the movie. I remember just begging Stephen, “Please could we do it another day, I just don’t feel like I can do it today.” And he did this really cool thing where he drew a line outside my trailer and was like, “When you step over that line, that’s when you have to just let go of everything, let go of you —you have to just go and be present as Sam, and leave everything else that you’re worrying about behind.”

Stephen has just been such a great mentor to me. He was actually here last night, helping me with my homework. He came over and I made him dinner, and he helped me figure out what I was gonna write my thesis on. He’s just the best. He’s someone who walked into my life and just got me. I remember when I first met him—he came to my hotel, and within 20 minutes he had insights about me that I don’t even know if my family has. That was what made me believe that I could play Sam. Because I get worried sometimes—I get crazy. After Harry Potter I didn’t feel very confident in myself as an actor. It’s lucky that I’ve improved that now, but back then I needed someone to believe in me, and Stephen really did.

I read Perks in eighth grade, and I was so relieved that the movie would be in his hands. It feels like something that should have come out in the ’90s and been misunderstood, and later become some kind of cult thing —it’s heartening that it’s so embraced. It’s partially about the parts of yourself you don’t like, so the fact that everyone seems to relate to it is really comforting.

It’s funny, I was talking to Steve last night about Girls, and he was like, “Why do people make such a big deal about it?” I think it just came about at a moment when young women are bombarded by images of perfection which no human being can really achieve, and then Lena Dunham comes along and she’s on TV and she’s like this perfectly imperfect human being, and so are all of the other characters. I think that’s why it’s just caught on like wildfire.

My friend texted me during the Golden Globes and was like, “It’s so weird to see someone I feel I could be friends with accepting an award—someone who talks and laughs and smiles like normal people I know.”

I think her and Adele were like the two breaths of fresh air in the whole thing.

They were so honest about just being really excited.

Yeah, but not in like a…[smiles, tears up, and breathes heavily, beauty-pageant-style]…but in a really genuine way. I think Lena and Adele can kind of establish themselves as that [genuine] person from the beginning, whereas it would be very difficult for more-established actors, or anyone who’s been on that stage a few times, who’s been running the circuit for a while, to step out of that kind of rigid thing that they’ve been doing, which they now feel they have to keep doing —they can’t break face, in a way.

Yeah, it would be weird if Julianne Moore was suddenly like, “I’m keeping it real, guys!” It’s perfectly natural for her to be dignified the way she is.

That’s something that I struggle with all the time, is how do you act natural when you’re on a red carpet and there are people screaming at you from this way and that and you feel so watched and observed? It is an unnatural situation, so it’s very difficult to find a way to be authentic. I find that to a certain degree my body just shuts down. It’s just sensory overload—your body goes into this kind of defense mode. People try to have conversations with me when I step off a red carpet, and I can’t—I kind of just go numb and my brain stops functioning. So it’s difficult to find a way to be real, because it’s such an unreal situation. But hats off to [Lena and Adele], they really killed it.

Then there’s the fear of being too “Look, I’m being sincere!”

Oh my god, completely. Sometimes I hear myself in interviews and I feel like I’m in that skit from Extras where one actor is taking the piss out of celebrities who are like, “I’m so normal! Look at me being really normal, doing all of this normal stuff!” You can take it to a point where it’s like, “Well, yeah, my life is kind of weird and I can’t pretend that I live exactly like everyone else,” because it’s an extraordinary set of circumstances to be under, so it’s kind of finding that middle ground. But yeah—sometimes I hear myself back and I’m like, “This just sounds like bullshit.” [Laughs] Do you ever do interviews?

We put out a book, so I did some stuff to tell people about it. Normally we get on a plane and go somewhere and I remember how to talk in sound bites, but once this person came to our home, and it was just too close. I had just come home from school and we did it in my house right away, but I was just…

I can completely relate to that. I remember when I was young, getting ready to go to a Lord of the Rings premiere, and literally getting changed in my school’s toilet. It’s just really surreal and odd. You feel quite vulnerable.

I was talking to a friend about it, but I stopped myself because it’s such a silly thing to complain about. [My other friend] told me it’s all relative.

It is all relative. In order to stay sane, you have to give yourself permission to be able to talk about these feelings and put them out there, because it’s so unhealthy for you to feel like there isn’t space for you to consider what you’re going through. It’s such a necessary part of the human condition. I completely agree [that it feels silly] and I feel the same way, but you just have to find the people who understand that you’re a human being. There’s maybe two or three people I can do that with.

Right, and though it’s not a terrible problem, it’s hard to relate to, and that does emphasize how it can be—

Isolating.

Yeah. Exactly.

Similar to you, I used to try to hide what I was doing, and I would end up in these awkward positions where I would have to go and do something [for work] but I would say I was doing something else. I would try to hide that I had a car picking me up—I would hide the car around the corner so that people would think I was walking. All of these elaborate kinds of schemes to pretend I was like everyone else. I’ve gotten to a point now where, like for example, I’m doing this class at NYU, and sometimes a driver comes to pick me up in case there are paparazzi outside, or there are people who have come to wait for me [to come out], and I just get straight into the car so I feel safe. And yeah, if the kids come out and see a black SUV and they go, “Oh, Emma Watson’s getting into a car”—you just hope that people will understand.

I know you’re going back to Brown this fall, after taking a couple of years off for work. What made you decide on that school?

A few different things. I really like the fact that it has a very open curriculum, that there aren’t any requirements. Really, I’ve kind of been in charge of my own education since I started out on Potter when I was 9 or 10, and I liked that I could design my own major if I wanted to, and I could take independent studies if I wanted to on subjects that weren’t necessarily in the curriculum. I did an independent study on the psychology and philosophy of how and why we fall in love, which was awesome. [Laughs]

Whoa! Do you know why? Can you tell me?

[Laughs] We’d need like six hours! Opportunities like that, and the idea of classes being pass/fail, make it sound as if you don’t have to work as hard, but it actually gives you the freedom to try out things that you wouldn’t be able to do if you had to get a certain GPA on your transcript. It lets you take classes that you wouldn’t otherwise. And it attracts a certain type of student: [someone] very independent who wants to take responsibility and control of what they’re learning. That really appealed to me as well.

What is a dream project for you? Not just film, necessarily.

Well, there’s different things you get out of different types of projects, and you can’t expect to get everything in one bundle. Perks was really special because I made friends that I’ll probably have for life. With Bling Ring, through learning about the character I learned more about myself. On Noah, I ended up doing months’ worth of research on one scene for the movie. And I got to work with Darren [Aronofsky], who really pushed me to be a better actress. In terms of my next project, I really want to do a romantic comedy. I’ve been looking for the perfect script. I’m getting to the point where I’m like, “I just need to write the damn thing myself,” because it’s so hard to find something that’s original and really funny. But I’d love to do something like that, just because the last two or three movies I did were kind of heavy.

I’m a real director chaser. I really want to work with Danny Boyle or Ang Lee, I’d love to work with Lynne Ramsay, I’d love to work with Tom Hooper, David Fincher —I have this endless list. I’ll do whatever as long as I can be part of someone else’s creative vision, someone who isn’t just creating something as a piece of entertainment, but is genuinely creating a piece of art. Though it’s nice if it’s commercially successful at the same time. [Laughs] I’m big on directors, more than I am about working with particular actors.

Do you think it’s something you’d ever do yourself?

Maybe. I would definitely be interested. I’m obsessed with being very thorough and very in control and very researched, and so I would only do it if I felt like I had enough knowledge. I’d like to produce as well, so we’ll see.

I was reading an interview with Lena Dunham by Miranda July, and they were saying that it’s easier now to work in different mediums and have your body of work be more about your point of view than about honing a particular craft. I guess acting requires a kind of permission from others, and just thinking about your journals, I think it’s great that you have a strong point of view and that you can work in mediums that let you express it in different ways, and I look forward to seeing all that you do. Aaah! I always feel silly complimenting people who are older than me because it feels condescending!

No, I don’t see it that way at all! That’s a really nice thing to hear. For me it’s about knowing that what I have to say, I really believe in. I’m not gonna put anything out there just for the sake of it. I’m trying to find a really confident artistic voice before I put myself out there, because it’s so easy for people to squash you. I want to make sure that what I make is something I really have the goods to back up.

I think that is what is so special about you and about Lena, is that you’re very young people who already have a very established point of view—you have a strong set of values that you can translate into different art forms. I guess my figuring out who I am and what those values are has become quite diluted, because I’ve just been working so much and been so tied up in being so many other identities that it doesn’t feel as concrete or as established yet as I would like it to be. I’m still not quite sure what my message is, what I’m trying to communicate [through my work].

Those other identities have taught you things as well.

Yeah, they have. It’s interesting, because people say things to me like, “It’s really cool that you don’t go out and get drunk all the time and go to clubs,” and I’m just like, I mean, I appreciate that, but I’m kind of an introverted kind of person just by nature, it’s not like a conscious choice that I’m making necessarily. It’s genuinely who I am. Have you seen Quiet by Susan Cain?

No!

It discusses how extraverts in our society are bigged up so much, and if you’re anything other than an extravert, you’re made to think there’s something wrong with you. That’s like the story of my life. Coming to realize that about myself was very empowering, because I had felt like Oh my god, there must be something wrong with me because I don’t want to go out and do what all my friends want to do. Anyway, I just went off on a tangent…

I think we were talking about putting out something you really believe in.

I just feel so uncomfortable with being a Google News article, really with being in the media any way, that if I have to be in the public eye, I want it to be for something that was worth it. I’m just taking my time over it. It’s building, it’s got some layers. It’s getting there. ♦

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The Daily Mail has full coverage of today’s events.

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Daily Mail

link to video of interview

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Daily Life

Emma Watson: I Emma Watson: I almost quit almost quit acting after acting after Harry

Growing up in the full glare of the media was almost enough to turn Emma Watson away from acting for good.

Emma Watson, best known as the Hogwarts swot Hermione Grainger, considered giving up acting altogether at the close of the Harry Potter series. For two years, she studied solidly and refused so much as to read a script. The point was “to figure out what I enjoyed, who I was and how I wanted to spend my time,” she said yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival. “I considered not being an actress; I considered it all.”

Clearly, she decided that acting was for her after all. Watson is currently in Cannes promoting The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola’s blistering true-crime film about a group of Los Angeles schoolgirls who robbed the houses of the celebrities they admire. Watson masters a formidably whining Valley Girl accent to play Nicky, who sees her eventual arrest as a promotional opportunity. “Nicky does not think she is going to jail. That is absolutely not entering her head,” said Watson. “This is her five minutes of fame; this is her time to brand herself.”

Watson has lived with her own celebrity since she was 11, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone launched the most successful of all cinema franchises. Unlike Nicky, she describes herself as “quite shy”. “She wants to be seen and she dresses to impress, whereas when I’m not working I dress to draw as little attention to ‘me’ as possible,” she said.

She believes she learned a great deal about herself during her two years away from public scrutiny. “You start to accept things in your personality. I think I really used to beat myself up about not wanting to go out, I thought there was something really peculiar about me. But I just gave up trying to fit in so much. I am much more OK with myself now, which is important.”

A canny agent lured her back to work, she says, by sending her the script of The Perks of Being a Wallflower as a bit of weekend reading. “And I don’t know what it was, but something just clicked and I felt compelled to get the film made.”

Then along came Sofia Coppola’s script, which spoke to her own experience. “No one really makes films about the underbelly of this industry and what it’s like to be a real human being in it. I live that. I think that is why Sofia and I connected, that we both understand that.”

The Facebook generation has unprecedented access to the rich and famous, she observed during the press conference that followed the film’s first Cannes screening.

“We are becoming saturated with images. They can embody whatever they [fans] project onto that image, so in a sense people really feel invested, feel connected to that person and that world.” But these images, she cautioned, have little to do with reality. “It’s a narrative that our society and culture has really become obsessed with.”

Despite being part of that narrative, she found Los Angeles “like an alien planet” when she first went there. “I mean, I grew up in the countryside in a small town in England. It really is just like polar opposites.”

If anything, working on The Bling Ring has only confirmed her sense that she belongs to a different world. “I think the film has scarred me slightly,” she said. “I just see a designer bag and – I can’t even carry one any more. It just weirds me out.”

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W

June 2013

When Emma Watson was cast in the Harry Potter films as Hermione Granger, the serious, smart role model to countless young girls, the actress, who was only 9 years old, set a nearly impossible course for herself. Not only did she have to bring life to a beloved fictional character for generations to come, but in an increasingly prying Internet-tabloid culture, she also had to measure up to the perfection of Hermione while creatively moving past that ideal. To grow up in public is brutal on many levels, but Watson, 23, has managed to escape both the bad behavior and the career paralysis that afflict so many child stars. Her biggest act of defiance seems to be her recent move to the United States. She is currently an English major at Brown University in Rhode Island. And although roles in corset movies surely have been offered to her in abundance, she has chosen, post-Hermione, to play two different American girls: Sam, the charismatic object of desire in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in 2012, and Nicki, an aspiring actress and part-time thief in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, out this month. Interestingly, The Bling Ring, which is based on a true story about a group of teenagers who broke into the homes of celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, could be read as the chronicle of Watson’s road not taken. The break-ins were not particularly malicious but, rather, a chance for the gang to live in the aura of stardom by stealing some glitzy baubles and designer duds. Alexis Neiers, the real-life Nicki, has even had her own reality show. “I was dying to play her,” Watson confessed. “Nicki is so different from me. How do I try and understand a young woman who loves these things so much that she is prepared to commit crimes to have them?” While wildly dissimilar in almost every way, Nicki and Emma do share a keen interest in image control. At our shoot, Watson was meticulous about her hair and makeup, and aware of every frame. It was not diva behavior; she was lovely and polite yet exacting. Perhaps this is how you gracefully transition from child to adult in the global eye: Be bold but never, ever sloppy. What is the first movie you remember seeing? Pretty Woman. I was 7, which was way, way too young. That was when I started loving Julia Roberts and American movies. As a child, I loved being onstage. I loved singing, I loved the lights, I loved the adrenaline. I even loved learning lines. I was completely obsessive. A friend of my mother’s found a tape of me auditioning for Hermione. I wanted to get really, really good at my lines. There was reel after reel, take after take, of me doing the same thing over and over again. How old were you? Nine. I was crazy. I did eight auditions, and I would literally sit by the telephone in my house and wait for each call. When they had me in for the ninth audition, I was like, Wow, nine! They called me into the producer David Heyman’s office, and he said I was the “preferred” candidate for the role. Before I could obsess over what “preferred” meant, they took a photograph of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and me, and it was broadcast on the Internet that we had been cast in Harry Potter. By the time I got back to my house, there was press waiting outside. We moved straight into a hotel. Did you ever feel the pressure of having to be a shining example to young girls worldwide? I was always a very serious child. I remember being 13 and girls in my class saying, “So-and-so is going to kiss so-and-so on the school fields.” I said, “That’s stupid. They’re too young for it to matter—he doesn’t love her, and that’s just a waste of time.” It’s amazing that I had any friends! [Laughs] So I was the right child to get cast: I loved the responsibility. Did you have your first kiss on camera? Thankfully, no. I’ve always been fascinated by Elizabeth Taylor, and I had read that her first kiss happened on a film set, which actually made me a little sad. You need to have normal experiences of your own. I’ve never wanted to grow up too fast: I wanted to wear a sports bra until I was 22! The allure of being sexy never really held any excitement for me. I’ve never been in a terrible rush to be seen as a woman. And yet, in The Bling Ring, you are a little bit of a bad girl. With Nicki, I was really taking on a character. Some of her lines are so crazy and absurd—making sure she wasn’t a parody was a challenge. Did her outfits help you get into character? Who wouldn’t love to go to work in Uggs and very low-slung tracksuit bottoms? The iconic detail of Nicki is her tramp stamp. It’s a lotus flower, a Buddhist-like symbol just above her butt crack. Really classy! [Laughs] And at one point I told the costume designer, “You can see my bra strap in this top; shouldn’t we pin it?” And she said, “No, sweetie—Nicki is all about her bra strap showing.” I was like, Right, okay, different mind-set. When did you realize you were famous? I lived in denial for as long as I possibly could. Until the age of 18, I would take the Oxford Tube, which is a public bus. Then it got to the point where the fact that I was on the bus would spread from one end to the other. I’d think, Why am I doing this to myself? Ignoring fame was my rebellion, in a funny way. I was insistent on being normal and doing normal things. It probably wasn’t advisable to go to college in America and room with a complete stranger. And it probably wasn’t wise to share a bathroom with eight other people in a coed dorm. Looking back, that was crazy. I’m surprised you chose to come to America. I’ve always loved America. When we came here with Harry Potter, everyone was so warm. Eventually, all of my friends were American, and I think that’s why I was attracted to playing Americans, even extreme ones like Nicki. When I’m presented with a character, I think, Hmmm…I have not had this experience. I don’t really know what this would be like. I’ll have the experience through the character. Do you have a Hollywood crush? My cinematic crush has been pretty much the same since I was 12: Kevin Costner. I met him in an elevator the other day, and I couldn’t even speak. He said hello, because he is lovely like that, and I couldn’t say anything back. Kevin Costner is so American. Of course! Kevin Costner is forever. And America too!

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Emma attended the photocall today dressed appropriately in a Christopher Kane dress. The photo call was sold out with the queue stretching for blocks.

The Daily Mail

Emma Watson flashes a hint of midriff in a flirty feathered outfit at The Bling Ring photocall in Cannes

She tweeted earlier this month that she was excited about the opportunity to showcase a selection of stunning outfits during her time in Cannes. And Emma Watson certainly kicked things off in style on Thursday as she arrived for The Bling Ring photocall at the film festival in a stunning Christopher Kane ensemble. The 23-year-old actress flashed a hint of midriff in the matching crop top and above the knee skirt, which featured feather detailing along the hem.

The look is significantly more demure than Emma has been opting for in recent months, with a long length on the skirt and high neck on the top. The maroon colour of Emma’s outfit flattered her English rose complexion, and she added a sophisticated touch to the outfit with a pair of sky-high black suede court shoes. Emma finished off her look by wearing her brunette hair swept back into a loose bun.

On the make-up front, Emma kept things simple, opting for a slick of mascara and lip gloss as she posed for photographers. She maintained a strong Cara Delevingne-esque brow, and appeared unconcerned about the gloomy weather as she smiled widely for the waiting photographers. Earlier, Emma was seen wearing a beige trench coat over her dress as she made her way to the photocall.

The centre of attention as she strolled along surrounded by her entourage, Emma appeared to find something uproariously funny as she screamed with laughter at an unknown joke. The film photocall, which saw Emma pose with director Sofia Coppola as well as co-stars Katie Chang, Taissa Fariga, Israel Broussard and Claire Julien, comes ahead of the screening of the film on Thursday night. The young actress is worlds away from her former Harry Potter alter-ego Hermione Granger in the new movie, in which she stars as pole-dancing thief Nicki, who forms part of a gang who rob celebrities.

Speaking previously about the role, Emma said: ‘It wasn’t like I needed to go out there and try to find the furthest part from Hermione so I could get away from her, because that seems like a negative place to jump off from; trying to get away from something rather than trying to get towards something. ‘What I’m trying to get towards is that I want to be a character actress. I want to play parts. I want to play roles that transform me. Nicki seemed like an opportunity to do that.’ And Emma has already been commended for her role in the film, with initial reviews praising her for moving away from Hermione.

Variety’s review reads: ‘Though it lacks the name cast and self-consciously outre style of another recent girls-gone-wild opus, Spring Breakers, this lively and fascinating pic should score well with its target hipster demo, ‘Always adept at directing young performers, Coppola encourages fine work here from her cast of mostly newcomers, with Watson taking special relish in shedding her goody-two-shoes Harry Potter persona.’

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