Emma Watson Discusses Taking a Step Back from Acting This Year
In conversation with author and feminist Bell Hooks for Paper Magazine‘s “Girl Crush” series, Emma Watson talks about taking a year off from acting, the importance of reading, and what it was like to finally embrace Hermione’s character as someone who was very much like herself.
Apart from being a brilliant actress, Emma Watson is also a tenacious feminist, the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and more recently, the host of the feminist book club Our Shared Shelf, to add to her long line of impressive achievements. She talks about the book club in this issue, saying,
I’m reading so much and exposing myself to so many new ideas. It almost feels like the chemistry and the structure of my brain is changing so rapidly sometimes. It feels as if sometimes I’m struggling to keep up with myself. It’s a really cool period of time for me. My work that I do for the UN is all very clearly outlined, but my personal views and opinions are still being defined, really. So it’ll be an interesting time.
While acting may have been her primary focus in the past, the former Potter cast member is taking a step back from it to devote this year to personal development and some independent studying.
I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one. I know that you read a book a day. My own personal task is to read a book a week and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I’m doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own. I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, [but] then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading.
Emma also talks about how she initially refused to acknowledge any similarities between her and Hermione Granger, simply because she was trying to conform herself to her idea of an average pre-teen. She says,
It was really interesting because at first, despite the obvious similarities, I guess I was also trying to detach my sense of self from the image […] I watch interviews that I did when the first movie came out, and I was so lost! [Laughs] I would think, ‘What do young girls talk about? What do they say?’ “I like going shopping, and I have a crush on Brad Pitt.”‘ And I had no idea who Brad Pitt really was! I hadn’t seen a single movie that Brad Pitt had been in, but this just seemed like the right thing to say. It makes me sad because I see this girl trying so much to fit in. The truth was, I loved school.
This is a wonderful issue, and you should definitely take a look at it here. What do you think about Emma Watson taking a break from acting? Let us know in the comments below!