Monday, September 21, 2015

Emma Watson: "My mother was my greatest source of information for Regression"

[Version française]

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

Emma Watson was the obvious choice from the beginning. It took them 24 hours to know who would want to play Angela Gray, the main character of Regression (nope), Alejandro Amenabar's latest film in charge of opening this Friday the 63rd edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival, and being released in theaters on October 2.

"My decisions concerning films are very instinctive and fast," the actress assured during a meeting with El Huffington Post, days before the world premiere. Watson gives life to a troubled young woman who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencick), of committing a shameful crime. The detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) is in charge of investigating the case with Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) who joins the investigation when the father admits his guilt, to help him remembering repressed memories. What they discover is a sinister conspiracy.

Angela is, in the actress' words, "a dark and complicated character" which she is thankful for. "I feel more confident and a better actress since I played her," adds this 25-year old veteran who we've known for the last 15 years after she was selected to play Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series and who has played in 16 films, was nominated for 44 awards and won 16. Among them the BAFTA for Best Actress of the Year in 2014. (they're talking about BAFTA LA)

Watson insists that Angela made her take "a step forward" in her carreer as she can count on Amenabar's support. The director, who returns to the big screen after six years of absence (no other film since Agora, in 2009), recovers with this film of mystery, the essence of Thesis and The Others. His idea was to "return to the roots" of his cinematography, as he said this Friday for his first time in San Sebastian.

"Alejandro is someone I can trust. He creates an atmosphere in which I can develop my role properly. I knew he would protect me, he would work with me. He's incredibly clever and someone I wanted to learn from," continues the actress who accepted the role in early 2014. "I love directors who are madly passionate about their work, who are involved with every aspect of the film, who write, direct, produce, who have a very concrete vision of what the want to achieve and make my role as an actress easier (...) Alejandro is one of them."

The result of this work is a film reflecting on the power of the mind. A brilliant story (not based) on real events that occurred in the 90s in the US in which Alejandro Amenabar discovers the more evil side of the memory. "It's not a horror story, it's a film about fear, about how fear threatens us and stops us from discerning," the director said last March.

This fear causes some anxiety for the viewer as it makes them doubt. Can we control our mind or is it controlling us? "The mind is very powerful, you have to be very careful about who you let in," warns Watson.

Her character moves between the waters of the divine. The religion, the people, the scientific reason that protect detective and psychologist. The first discipline has always fascinated the actress, who confesses she grew up in a family that wasn't much religious, but who assures that "the traditions, rituals and values held by the community" attract her. What she dislikes, she insists, are "people who are obsessed, like the ones portrayed in the film."

Watson counted on an exceptional adviser to prepare for this role: her mother. "She did a master's degree in psychology and understood the different methods and therapies. She was actually my greatest source of information," said the actress, who also assures that her mother's formation helped her to accept religion better.

Angela Gray is, including her appearance in the series The Vicar of Dibley, Emma Watson's tenth character (she was Hermione Granger in eight films and a short one). She will soon add two others to the list: she's currently filming The Circle, due in theaters in 2016, and will be Belle in the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast adaptation. Each role has been a step forward for her career to achieve the objective of leaving behind the character created by JK Rowling. "Every time I accept a role I have to prove that I can be good, bad, bold, or innocent. I have to show people what I can do," she said in an interview with Elle magazine earlier this year.

But Watson wants to make it clear that she doesn't regret to have entered the industry, despite the obstacles she has encountered along the way. "It wasn't easy. Sometimes I wondered if I was in the right industry. Many times I fought against myself to pull it off," she said during her meeting with El Huffington Post.

Today she no longer has any doubts and she found the perfect formula to work as an actress and live a life like any young person of her age. "I think it's interesting to play other people but that it's important to take time for yourself. It's very important for me to speak and live as myself, to have a balance between who you play and who you are."

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