Sunday, September 27, 2015

Emma Watson: "Above all, I'm an actress, with intentions to direct"

[Gallery] [Version française]

A new interview of Emma was released in El Pais (September 26, 2015).


Translated by Emma Watson Updates. Credit if you use it.

Emma Watson's obsessions

On September 20, a year ago, Emma Watson was afraid. "My hands were shaking. I wasn't aware that I was going to talk in a room that size and in front of so many people." The British actress took some papers and gave an intelligent, disarming, and moving speech for 12 minutes, about the importance of gender equality. Those 12 minutes started like this: "Today we are launching a campaign called for HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality, and to do this, we need everyone involved." That "you" was the UN General Assembly, and Watson, Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women, took a step forward that made her become the voice of a generation.

A year later, Watson (Paris, 1990) releases Alejandro Amenabar's Regression. She left Hermione Granger, the great female character in the Harry Potter saga, behind a long time ago - "but I don't forget everything that it meant then, and there that my career started there." Watson is now an actress who carefully chooses her works (she has no bad movie), a woman who signs up to various charitable and awareness-raising campaigns, and a fashion icon. And she has a degree in English literature at Brown University, Providence (USA).

At 25, she carefully thinks about her steps: "I get a lot of scripts, it's true. I only select those that gets me to film with passionate artists, with directors who understand what's an actor. And believe me, there're not many. Another criteria is that the history must affect me and create a challenge. I read all the scripts I can, but my agent knows my tastes very clearly." And she doesn't only control the artistic side. "The ability that I have to influence others still makes me blush and shocks me. I'm not sure if I reach lots of people, but of course I worry, I try to channel that influence to causes that deserve it. I have the energy I have, and I don't waste it, so I can make choices carefully and I hope not to focuse on 'I', but rather that through me people find out about interesting initiatives. "

A vital purpose

Hence her appearance at the UN. "You can clearly see that I was nervous [laughs]. But it was something I wanted to do. If I had known beforehand the place and the amount of people there, I don't know... Anyway, it was important and necessary." In Spain there is a debate on whether or not the actors should express their political views publicly. Watson has prepared a decree to address this situation: "It's simple. I don't make political comments within the United Kingdom or comments on local issues. I only refer to international problems. Although I don't know if I'll change in the future, for now it work for me." And the second job has given her "a vital purpose": "It gives meaning to many of my decisions. And it's very satisfying to feel that you reach people and see the response to some of your actions" Among other associations, Watson works with CAMFED International, a British NGO working in rural areas of Africa to educate girls; with People Tree, a fair trade fashion brand, and she has raised funds for Global Green USA, another NGO focused on the sustainability and preservation of the environment. "However, above all, I'm an actress, with intentions to direct someday in the future. Step by step. I still have to meet directors of very different sensibilities. "

At six, Watson was already devoured by the desire to act, and that's why she went to an acting school in Oxford. At 10, she was on the set of the first Harry Potter . "To do this job you have to keep a certain amount of obsession. It costs a lot, I spent more than 200 days a year away from home, you investigate the lives of others while you sacrifice your own to become another person... Definitely, it's an obsession rather than a passion".

The British woman understands very clearly the essence of her penultimate work, the reason she got hooked to the project: "Rosemary's Baby is one of Alejandro's influences for Regression, because the film pays tribute to many classic, powerful references that connect with the public." And because she found a filmmaker able to "understand that there is a script but there are also actors, a creator who let you contribute." Her Angela Gray, the trigger for the terror and mystery that describe the film, seems imprisoned to a time and a place. She seems to, because Watson soon deduced that what mattered were the universal echoes of the story of a girl who, deep down, is only scared. "I started, for example, by testing a thick Minnesota accent, but I ended up softening it, because it could have happened anywhere in the United States, and probably anywhere in the world."

Watson has already filmed a version of Beauty and the Beast, inspired by the musical version of the Disney animation - "Yes, I had to sing; as an actress you can hide behind the characters, but when you sing inevitably there is a bit of you, there is something pure there, and I felt a great artistic evolution when developing my voice"; she completed Colonia, alongside Daniel Brühl, about the infamous Colonia Dignidad founded in Chile in the sixties - "It's my first highly political film, it was time" - and is filming the thriller The Circle. "I finished college and I have more time." Time she only slightly dedicates to the world of fashion: "I admit that when I'm not working it interests me much less. But I understand its importance in the world of cinema, in the promotion of my films. And it comes back to the influences, I try to be consistent and when I get dressed, I carefully choose the brand. Yes, I look at their work policies and I don't forget that even clothes have their ethics."

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