Monday, December 1, 2008

Emma Watson on BBC radio [December 01, 2008]

"If your heart's in the right place, you can change how things are around you."

[Gallery] [Fashion] [Traduction fran├žaise]

Transcript by Credit if you use it in any way.

Simon Mayo: Emma Watson, Hermione Granger in all the Harry Potter films of course, is starring in a new movie The Tale of Despereaux, based on the novel by Kate Dicamillo. Earlier today she told me about it and naturally, because she is Emma Watson, I presumed she was talking to me from some kind of luxury hotel somewhere, but was she?

Emma Watson: No, I'm not! I'm in a... well... it is luxury in some way, it's a little radio studio somewhere. That's terrible, I don't even know where I am. I've just been carted around today promoting the film so I'm a little bit kind of disorientated.

SM: You're so showbusiness.

EW: Oh mate, don't say that.

SM: So showbusiness, you don't even know where you are.

EW: Is that showbusiness or is that just me being a bit blonde?

SM: Might just be... oh I don't know. I've just come out of your film.

EW: I'm so happy that you've seen it. I've spoken to a lot of people this morning who haven't seen it yet so... good! That'll make explaining the plot and what happens a lot easier 'cause it's quite complicated, isn't it?

SM: Except that the audience listening to this...

EW: Won't have seen it!

SM: ...haven't.

EW: Oh no.

SM: So you're still gonna...

EW: But no! You can help me is what I meant.

SM: Okay. Although I have to say I left 10 minutes before the end *Emma gasps* 'cause I had to come here to do this. But also...

EW: Wasn't because you were bored.

SM: No. It also makes perfect sense because I don't want to know what happens in the end.

EW: Why not?

SM: Because then I might spoil it. There might be a plot spoiler.

EW: Oh you're gonna watch it again?

SM: Absolutely. That's what I'm gonna do. So, Emma, take us to The Tale of Despereaux. When it was a book I think it was the tale of Despereaux being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup and a spool of thread.

EW: Yes.

SM: So we go with a shorter title. Explain the big story and where you fit into it.

EW: Right. Well I play princess Pea who is obviously the princess of the kingdom of Dor which is kind of famed for its soup and soup-making. And there's lots of kind of little narratives that make up kind of a bigger story. So there's the princess Pea's story, Despereaux's story and Mig who is the servant girl and Roscuro who is played by Dustin Hoffman. It's got a really amazing cast. Yeah, it's really good. It's kind of like a modern fairy-tale. I don't know what you thought but it's quite philosophical. It kind of... It works on lots of different levels. I don't think it's just for kids.

SM: Well most of those kind of moral points are being made by Sigourney Weaver who's the narrator.

EW: Yes.

SM: And I guess one of the points is, which comes often in cartoons, is that it's okay to be different, it's okay to stand out from the crowd, it's okay not to fit in.

EW: Exactly.

SM: Because it'll be all right in the end kind of thing. Is that about right?

EW: Sort of, yeah. My favourite storyline was Mig who is the servant girl to princess Pea. She desperately wanted to be a real princess. She wants to wear a crown, she wants to kind of rule the kingdom. But actually she is a princess to her father who thinks that she's his little princess and I thought it was a really sweet message.

SM: Yeah.

EW: All girls! All girls are princesses. That was my favourite personally.

SM: Even if she's a bit of an orphan prepared to steal and cheat and maybe unpleasant along the way.

EW: Yes!

SM: As played by Tracey Ullman.

EW: Yes, as played by Tracey Ullman. No, she's misguided but then she's found again by her dad

SM: Am I right in saying you want to do philosophy? You want to study philosophy.

EW: I was considering it for a little while but then I wanted to read English literature.

SM: Okay, because the reason I ask this is if it's quite a philosophical film I thought you might be far more in tune with what's the message of the movie is. And as I didn't see the last 10 minutes, it might all end in carnage, you know. And all the kids are gonna leave the cinema crying.

EW: No, sorry to disappoint you, it's a very very tame happy ending.

SM: Excellent, excellent. So the message is what, do you think? Out of this?

EW: So if I could choose one message? 

SM: Well any of them. I'm just interested, with your eyes and ears, what do you think people will come out of that thinking? 

EW: I think people will come out of that feeling uplifted. It's definitely a feel-good film. I think... I guess the main message is that it doesn't matter how small you are or how big your ears are or wherever you come from, if your heart's in the right place you can be a hero and you can change how things are around you and... yeah, I guess it would be that. It's about the underdog really.

SM: Have you done an animation before? 

EW: No this is my first animation film.

SM: So the mechanics of it I imagine would be less glamourous and exciting than people might imagine. You're not actually there with Matthew Brodewick and Dustin Hoffman.

EW: No, unfortunately. Everyone keeps asking me what it's like to work with Dustin Hoffman and I don't really have an answer because the only time I actually met him was at an award ceremony which is completely unrelated to The Tale of Despereaux so. No, it is quite hard because obviously you're kind of in a studio very much like I'm in now and you are kind of reacting to sort of nothing. And a lot of the scenes that princess Pea is in is when she's being kidnapped and she's screaming because there's rats all around her and... all these sort of things and when you're sitting in the dark... well sat even in a dark studio and you got to try and get all of that emotion that that's really happening, into your voice. It's quite difficicult.

SM: So when do you get back to the day-job?

EW: February.

SM: Oh come on, say it with a bit more excitement than that! People are hanging around waiting for this thing!

EW: I know they are, I know they are. Well, Half Blood Prince comes out in uly and I start filming the last one Deathly Hallows in February.

SM: And what we hear is that it's gonna be split into two.

SM: EW: Yes.

SM: And that'll come out in two consecutive years.

EW: Yes.

SM: So it's gonna keep that whole thing running...

EW: Running for as long as possible, yeah!

SM: But what an exciting couple of years you're gonna have! How do you imagine though? The chance of you having a normal life? I mean you plan on going to university and all that kind of stuff. How ordinary can 2008 have been?

EW: Well, not hugely normal. It's been a bit of a juggling act. I took my A-levels and I was making Half Blood Prince so it was a bit chaotic. But very full and very fun.

SM: How did you manage to do that and get four grade As that's what I want to know.

EW: I worked really hard. It's crazy but full and fun and challenging.

SM: Do you get to do things like watching X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

EW: No! This is what I miss out on! All of my friends talk about X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing and even my mum is taking to Strictly Come Dancing and I just have no idea what's going on. No idea at all.

SM: Well, let me tell you what's going on. Britney Spears can't mime.

EW: Oh no!

SM: So you wanna do singing and dance. You wanna do a musical, don't you?

EW: Yeah, I'd love to do a musical. That really depressed me, I was really excited, I was like "Britney is coming back and it was all gonna be good".

SM: Yeah, I'm afraid it's a little bit disappointing. One other thing I have to say about your film, about The Tale of Despereaux, you as princess Pea.

EW: Yes.

SM: You actually get to utter the line "some day my prince will come".

EW: I do. I do.

SM: I'm thinking "are you allowed to put that in? Is there a copyright on that line?"

EW: There must be a copyright on that line. Yeah, one day my prince will come. Yeah, and he does. In the form of a little mouse that looks like Dumbo!

SM: What people will admire a lot I think is that each time you see one of these animations it gets better and you can see... I mean there are moments when I think animation is...

EW: Oh it's beautiful! The animation is absolutely stunning. It was so so artistic and it's lovely, yeah. Really impressed.

SM: And you see dust in the air and you can see... It is quite extraordinary.

EW: Yes.

SM: I know we have to finish. Emma, what kind of Christmas are you gonna have? Is that planned? You know, last oasis of calm before you get back to Harry Potter.

EW: Same Christmas I have every year. Just with family and friends, just at home, with the cats and my mum and my brother. That's my Christmas.

SM: And a chance to catch up on Strictly and X Factor.

EW: Yeah, exactly. And watching lots and lots of reality TV.

SM: Emma, I wish you all the best.

EW: Thank you.

SM: And look forward to seeing the next couple Harry Potter films when they come out. Thanks very much.

EW: Thanks very much.

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