Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emma Watson Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Interview

Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in "Harry Potter" movie series, talks about the much-anticipated finale of the highly successful film who brought her international fame over the last 10 years and what's next for her as an artist. But warning, there are a few spoilers for those who haven't watch the movie yet.

Can you talk about your last scene as Hermione? What was it, and what were you feeling?
The last shot we did was this kind of strange moment when we dive into the fireplace at 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 basically, and that was the shot. That was it. It seemed like kind of a strange one to go out on, but David made the point that we were like leaping into the unknown. It was kind of a perfect metaphor for what we were about to go into. It's so funny, I can't tell you how I felt when we were shooting it. I was sort of numb.

Were there any other last moments - a last scene at Hogwarts or a last scene filmed with someone - that stick out in your mind?
It's so funny. This film was obviously 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 emotions I felt about lasts and all of it coming to an end. I was able to bring how I was feeling to the role, so a perfect example of that was the scene where we stand on the bridge after the battle before we flash forward. I remember just feeling exactly how Hermione would be feeling. Just, wow this is all coming to an end, look at everything we've achieved. The set was actually built looking out over Leavesden Studios, which is where I grew up, essentially, and spent the last twelve years. So yeah, not much acting required really, it was all just alive for me.
What character traits do you share with Hermione?
Not so much now, but I guess earnestness, an eagerness to please and to do the right thing—terrified of ever getting into trouble. I'm very heady in the same way that she is; I'm constantly thinking three, four moves ahead. I try to intellectualize a lot, which she does as well, obviously. I'm very determined as well. I like to think that I'm loyal in the same way that she is. I'm a bit of a feminist in the same way that she is. I will speak my mind. It's hard to say, really. I feel 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.

Did you give much thought into what happened in the 19 years that passed? Because by that point, Jo said Hermione has been working for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, but she also has two kids. As we know of the wizarding world, most of the moms are stay at home moms. Is Hermione the first one to be a working mom?
Yeah, I think that's so interesting that you brought that up. Gosh, it's so interesting. For my mum, she was the first generation that felt like, "wow, we really can work and we have choice." My mum worked when I was growing up. I feel like for my generation, not only do we have that choice but we also have the choice to stay at home, which is amazing that we do have so much choice. But I also think it's easy to feel a bit lost about what the right thing to do is. I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here, but yeah I can absolutely see Hermione working and trying to juggle kids. She has such a wonderful mind, and she is so caring about the world, and so desperate to set things right. She has a very strong sense of justice, so it makes complete sense that she's in law enforcement, and she would keep going with that part of herself.

What role do you think Hermione has in raising Rosie and Hugo?
Hermione just has so much knowledge. She thirsts for knowledge, and she loves words. I guess just being around someone like Hermione it must be infectious to want to know more and I can't imagine it was difficult to get Rosie and Hugo interested in things. I remember I used to watch my mum read and seeing her face change and all of the expressions she would go through, and seeing her enjoy books so much that you would go, "oh that's interesting, what's that?" And you would want to do the same. So I'm sure just by example.

What are your tastes in music, and now that you know - I assume - American students very well, are American tastes and British tastes very different?
They are and they aren't. I've found so much music that I like that a lot of my American friends know about, and we bridge gaps. I don't think there's too much difference in taste. In terms of my own taste, I'm very influenced by my parents. My dad collects records, and so when I was growing up he would play me Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega. He loves blues, so a lot of Chuck Berry. My mum would play The Pretenders, Elvis, Natalie [Merchant] and the 10,000 Maniacs. Then my brother has recently been getting me into a lot of classic rock. I've been listening to Tom Petty, the Cars, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and White Stripes. I also love to dance, so I'll listen to like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and everyone. I love Lykke Li. I've been listening to her albums recently. Everything, really. I've been listening to a bit more classical music lately. I love music, and I think I drive my friends crazy because I always have to have music playing. My de-stressing thing is to put my iPod headphones in and just go walk and listen to music. That's what I do if I need to zone out or calm down.

Perhaps singing on Broadway?
Yes (laughs) well, I don't know if I'm...Dan is so ballsy. That kid. Amazing. I'd love to do something on Broadway, but I think I need to pluck up some more courage. But I love to sing, yeah.
How do you think you've changed the most, personally, over the last ten years?
It's hard to say, because obviously when you go from the ages of 9 to 21, most of those changes are inevitable, it's just part of growing up. It's hard to say what is part of that natural process, and what else has happened. 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 do interviews...hopefully. I guess I always had quite a strong sense of who I am, but it's nice coming through and feeling like I still have managed to maintain my own sense of identity away from something that potentially could have overwhelmed me. So I guess I'm glad that I had that. I was quite a stubborn young girl, so yeah.

Now that the series has ended, do you have a favorite out of all of them?
I mean the last two, Part 1 and Part 2, for me really stand apart from all of the rest. The quality is amazing, and the role and the depth and I guess how much darker they get really gave me a chance to stretch myself as an actress and really feel like I was an actress, and like I was acting. Actually for the first however many years I didn't really feel like I was doing much acting at all. I feel like I can say I'm an actress and really believe in that.

What's next for you?
I'm going to travel this summer, which I'm really excited about. It's obviously scary; change is always scary, but I feel really excited. I feel like I'm opening a new chapter and I have a fresh start. So traveling this summer, I'm going back to school in the fall. I've got two years left until I complete my degree. I have just made a film called Perks of Being a Wallflower which was just the most incredible experience. I had the best six weeks. I'm very excited about that movie. Having an experience like that outside of Harry Potter convince me that acting was what I should be doing and that I was good at it. It really solidified that for me. I guess just now reading, reading, reading, and trying to find the next thing that speaks to me and that I really care about. Also finding great directors hopefully, who will keep teaching me so I can keep learning. But I'm excited about the idea of being an actress now in a way that I wasn't so sure of when I was younger.

When was the moment that you realized you were one of the most recognizable faces in the world?
It was when I was in a shantytown in Bangladesh, and a boy stopped me in the street and said, "You're the girl from Harry Potter!" There's nowhere in the world I can go, it feels, that isn't somehow touched by this franchise. It's absolutely amazing. It reaches the furthest corners of the earth in the least expected places. So that was a moment when it was like, "Wow! You really can't go anywhere."

Now, how do you handle that fame?
It became easy to handle once I accepted it. Once I sort of came to terms with it, definitely. And I feel fortunate in that I've never known what it's like to have total freedom and anonymity. It's not as though I had it then all of a sudden taken away from me. It was something I sort of grew up knowing. I've never known anything else. In a way, I guess that's sort of a blessing.

Throughout this series, all of the characters go through tests of bravery; it's sort of an ongoing thing. What story can you tell us from when you had to put your bravery to the test?
That's a great question. You know, I feel like young girls are told that they have to be this kind of princess and be all delicate and fragile, and it's bullshit. I identified much more with the idea of being a warrior, and being a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I would be a warrior princess, definitely. I think, I don't know, sorry to ramble on. I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave, and I think that's something they've got to embrace. It's not the absence of fear, it's overcoming it. Sometimes you've got to just blast through. A lot of moments in this last movie I made in Pittsburgh, Perks of Being a Wallflower, I was terrified. On my first day I was so nervous. Doing a different accent, being on a new movie set, in a foreign country with a crew I didn't know and a cast I didn't know. There's a scene where I have to mimic Susan Sarandon in Rocky Horror Picture Show and I'm standing in a corset in front of all of these extras trying to do this dance. I felt ridiculous. It's funny: coming out of this, I'm constantly doing things that are new, and that takes bravery. I think it's just trying to have faith in yourself and believe in yourself and know that it will come right in the end.
You had mentioned that you are doing some traveling and then going to school. Which school are you going to?
I'm going to Oxford in the fall to study English for a year. Just to explain, I haven't left Brown. I'm still enrolled at Brown, but I'm doing my third year abroad, studying at home...abroad for me (laughs). I'll be going back to the states for my last year.

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