Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Emma Watson: "I like that people are seeing me in a different way"

[Version fran├žaise]

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

What made you say yes to Amenabar?
I knew as soon as I've got to know Angela, my character. I immediately saw that she was a character with many twists and very complicated to confront as a performer. I think she's someone who's pursued by mystery.

Are you deliberately looking for roles that are out of the ordinary?
I rather think it's these kind of stories that follow me! (laughs) Everything you saw in the last two Harry Potter films were much darker and intense compared to the ones before. So it seems that this perception isn't new. Sometimes, I even think it helped a lot the people in charge of the projects to consider me as a suitable actress for more risky roles. For the record, I love challenging myself with characters that dark.

You gained the respect from the directors. But do you think the public sees you in a different way with this new step?
Of course. Of course, from the moment I did my speech at the United Nations headquarters, many people started looking at me in a different way. And I like that. This, combined with my work on films like Regression, made this change possible.

With the challenge that is to play a girl like Angela, with so many problems surrounding her, is it hard to leave her when you stop filming and go back to your normal life?
Sometimes it costs a lot to put aside such intense characters. And this is one of those times. Roles like this make it necessary to take a walk from time to time to get away from them, but also to get away from all this darkness. With time I discovered that they can stay inside of you, so you have to be very careful.

Is it this intensity that you like most about your job?
The good thing about being an actress is that each day is different from the one before. Each character you play hardly has anything to do with the others, so you have to be very attentive to what the director of each project asks you.

And how was it with Alejandro Amenabar?
Very good! Alejandro really likes to trust his actors, to collaborate in the search to find out what is best for them. He wants you to be really involved in your character, he wants you to know your character better than anyone else. To me it's a perfect way to work. Before putting myself into his hands, I knew Alejandro liked being very involved in all the phases of the film.

And that seems to you...
Above all, impressive. At the same time, I felt very comfortable knowing that he was going to establish a relationship of trust from the beginning and that he would maintain it until the end. Moreover I knew his ideas were very clear. I think he's a very clever person. That's how I could summarize why it's good to put oneself in his hands.

What do you think of the criticism some people made about the religion in the film?
The film doesn't criticize religion in general, but rather talks about specific circumstances, without going into generalizations. I myself wouldn't be able to talk about it in a specific way without falling into mistakes of interpretation. Religion can be responsible of incredible and wonderful things the same way it can create scary things. Therefore, I think the debate that it creates is interesting. It would be great for this debate to come up with lots of spectators when they leave the theater after watching the film.

In movies with so many mysteries such as this one, what's written in the script can ruin the surprise. Are you scared of saying things you shouldn't?
I would really like having the power to decide what I can or can't say to the media... (laughs). No, really, it's complicated.  But you have to be very careful not to say anything that would ruin the experience.

In the film you share lots of scenes with Ethan Hawke. How did you two prepare for these scenes?
The good thing is that we immediately connected. This way it was possible for everything to be handled normally, to create a good environment between the two characters to give a better credibility to those scenes.

Do you think there is more freedom in a project like this one than in others with a bigger budget that you worked in?
It depends on a lot of things. But, usually, when you work with an average budget like it was the case with Regression, what helps is that everything is easier to do for the director in terms of creativity.

What experiences have left a mark on you as a result of your work in collaboration with various social causes?
By far, what always has the biggest impact on me is seeing people my age having a bad time. It's easy to make a comparison between you and them. And, in fact, it makes me wonder why certain things happen to them and not to me. And it makes me appreciate much more everything I have.

You spend time on charitable causes. Did being an actress help you in pronouncing speeches that emotional, like the one you made in favor of the equality between men and women?
Well, sometimes unexpected things come up. In that moment I was very very nervous. It was about something very personal and important to me. It has nothing to do with giving interviews or walking the red carpet. There, you expose yourself as you are in reality. It was surprising knowing that everything went well in the end.

What memories do you keep from your experience in Harry Potter, years after putting an end to it?
Every time I see a picture from this era, with Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, I realize how big everything was. And the importance it had in our lives. It was a very nice journey.

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