Emma Watson talks about her latest film “The Tale Of Despereaux” and next year’s “Harry Potter” pic
Just nine years old when she was chosen to star in the Harry Potter movies, British actress Emma Watson has played Hermione Granger half her life.
Next year sees her reprise her role in the sixth instalment of the wizard blockbuster, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and she’s contracted to film the final two movies between studying at college. She’s currently in Irish cinemas voicing a princess in the animated hit ‘The Tale Of Despereaux’
Q: Hi Emma, Happy Christmas, what are you doing for Christmas this year?
EW: Chilling out with the family. Christmas is a great time to just veg out and watch lots of really rubbish reality TV, eat lots of food and just catch up with people. That’s the nice thing about Christmas.
Q: You voice the character of a lonely princess in new animated film, The Tale of Despereaux. Growing up in the public eye, were you lonely yourself?
EW: Yes, I think it’s a very human thing to feel lonely, particularly when you’re a teenager. I didn’t actually have time. I was working too hard to be the rebellious teenager fortunately. I’m sure when I hit my 30s I will go crazy. I’ll have this rush of hormones and madness.
Q: You begin university next year. In what ways do you expect your life to change?
EW: It’s a big step, it really is. It’s a very exciting time of my life because I’m 18 now so I’m kind of an adult, although I don’t think I am in the US because you have to be 21 to drink and stuff like that. But I’m going away to university so I’ll be living away from home. I’ll be finishing Harry Potter which means I can take another project so that’s kind of scary too.
Q: Will you attend a US or a British university?
EW: I don’t know yet. I’m looking at both still so we’ll see. I’m really attracted by the liberal arts degree at US universities where they encourage you to study lots of different things so you do four different courses a term – so you can do 37 different courses in total – and choose your major in your third or fourth year. I can study so many different things which I find so appealing, whereas if I stay in England then I’d just have to choose one subject and study it for three years. I find that quite narrowing, so I’m really attracted by the courses that they offer in the US.
Q: At 18 years old, you’re a very wealthy young woman. What do your old friends think of your fame and wealth?
EW: Oh they hate me, they really do! No, I’m joking. It’s kind of weird for them, especially when they’re out with me and people recognize me and come up to me. It’s awkward for them to know how to be, but they’re very good about it. My friends are very protective as well, which is really sweet.
Q: Do they make you pay for everything?
EW: No! Actually they’re very proud like that, that’s why I love them. They’d be embarrassed if I paid for stuff, and if I ever try, they always say, “What are you doing? I want to pay half.”
Q: Has it been difficult growing up in the public eye?
EW: In a way it’s been hard to grow up inside a film. People have the strange feeling of knowing me intimately because they’ve seen my transformation from child to woman, albeit only on screen.
Q: What do you think of Hollywood teenagers like Lindsay Lohan? They have fame so young and go crazy?
EW: I think it’s hard. I can totally understand why they go nuts with the level of interest in their lives and the pressure to be perfect – and they’re teenagers. And that’s what you do, you screw up. It’s really hard so I would never criticize that.
Q: What’s the best – and worst – thing about being famous?
EW: The best thing about being involved in Harry Potter, is that you can make a six year old girl or boy’s day by giving them a handshake and it’s so easy. It costs me so little to make someone incredibly happy so that’s amazing and I’ve walked away and thought ‘God I’m so lucky to be in a position that people are that excited to meet me’. It’s amazing. The downside is that the level of curiosity into your life means that it becomes quite intrusive and the level of criticism is hard to deal with sometimes. It can make you really insecure.
Q: In The Tale of Despereaux, you are romanced by a gallant mouse? Met anyone like that in your real life?
EW: Yes! I hope that every man that I’m dating will be like that! (laughs)
Q: Haven’t you find one yet?
EW: No, it’s hard to find! There aren’t a lot of gentlemen out there that share the same qualities than Despereaux unfortunately but I’m waiting for my knight in shiny armor just like Pea was. I’m sure he will come along at some point.
Q: Which qualities will he need?
EW: Hum… Same that Despereaux! Well. Honour, chivalry, bravery… I don’t know. He will have to make me laugh, really.
Q: Do you have the same problem as your co-star Daniel Radcliffe with the fans not wanting you to grow up?
EW: Like Peter Pan. Yeah, I think they do… I think it’s gonna take a while to shake off the British press. Every headline I’m in, there is some reference to magic or broom stick or witches or whatever! So it will take a while. The books and the films are loved so much that people don’t want to let go, they don’t want it to end but unfortunately I’m growing up, I’m not gonna be young forever.
Q: What can you say about the next “Harry Potter” movie?
EW: It’s more of a romantic comedy; it has quite love interest in it. I think the humour is very good in it; they really got that in this one. Harry is Jenny’s first kiss and it really develops their relationship, very set it up for the final chapter. It’s good…
Q: Is it true that you didn’t want to take it on?
EW: No, it isn’t (laugh)! It just take a while for scheduling because I was doing my A levels so they had to kind of work around that. It was a little bit difficult but no…
Q: How do you feel about shooting the last “Harry Potter”, are you emotional about it or do you feel like it’s good timing?
EW: I think I will feel emotional about it in some ways because I spent most than half my life doing it, you know and the crew is like a second family to me; so it will be very emotional. But in the same time, I’m excited because it frees my time to go do other projects. I’m ready to go do something else now, it has been a while!
Q: Do you think you have to be smart to be an actress?
EW: God, no!
Q: What’s the wackiest gift you’ve received from fans? I read that people
send you bibles?
EW: Please don’t send me any more bibles! I’m OK! You can testify that I’m not crazy yet! I don’t know how I can really top bibles because that’s definitely the weirdest. Actually a Japanese fan sent me plasters for my cuts that I had in the third film which I thought was very sweet.
Q: What did you do with all the bibles?
EW: I didn’t keep them all, I just kept one or two, I gave the others away.
Q: Do you ever wonder what your life would have been if it wasn’t for being
cast in Harry Potter?
EW: It’s become so much a part of my life that it’s hard to imagine now what my life would have been like. Sometimes I wish my life were simpler but, for most of the time, I feel like I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Q: What’s your next career challenge?
EW: I guess I’m eternally going to be Hermione! My biggest challenge will be convincing people that I can be someone else.
The Tale Of Desperaeaux is now showing at Irish cinemas everywhere Harry Potter hits cinemas in 2009