Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Emma Watson: "Media suggest to women that what matters is their body, instead of their brain"

[Version française]

Translated by Watsonuncensored with the help of Sterni Granger. Credit us if you use it.

Emma Watson (25) has left her time as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter behind her and goes from success to success. Tomorrow is the release of her new movie, Colonia, alongside Daniel Brühl (Director: Florian Gallenberger). Shining, happy, and with a strong handshake, the petite English woman greets us in a London hotel suite.

Ms. Watson, how was it to film with Daniel Brühl?
Watson: Wonderful. Daniel is a charismatic colleague, very intelligent and very funny. After difficult, emotionally, violent scenes, he repeatedly managed to cheer me up, to make me relax and laugh. As an actor, I've admired him for a long time. Though I didn't want to join this film only because of him, I also found my character very appealing.

In what way?
Watson: Finally an active female character! You have no idea how often I get offered scripts in which a helpless poor little thing is waiting to be rescued by a strong man. Here, however, the roles are reversed. The brave hero is a woman. Something that's still rare in the 21st century.

What do you do when you realize a project is going wrong?
Watson: You mean once I have stopped to be totally pissed off? Then I try to see the positives. I ask myself: What can I learn from this? It makes me especially angry to see how women are represented in movies.

What can we do about this?
Watson: It would be much better if there were more female directors. Then finally more stories about women would be told, and the actresses' work would probably be fairly valued and remunerated. But for us women, it's time to rethink. When Jennifer Lawrence complained about earning less than her male costars, she blamed herself for not being a good negotiator. She didn't ask for more money because she thought she would have been called a spoiled brat. I know this twisted thinking perfectly.

Watson: Because for years I've been terrified people would say about me: "Fame has ruined the girl". I was so anxious about being called a capricious diva that I did everything I could to please people. Today I know it was a mistake, and I should state my opinion. Because what people think about you doesn't matter, what matters is that you can look at yourself in the mirror.

Do you feel a certain pressure for being a role model for a whole generation of girls?
Watson: I'm well aware of my responsibility. I also find it wimpish when some celebrities say: "I don't see myself as a role model." Because, in principle, we're all role models for each others. We all affect one another. We should therefore think our actions through, and be judged by our deeds. For example, one is not necessarily a feminist by simply stating it. It comes from your actions.

Many young girls seem obsessed with their appearance, they constantly post selfies in lascivious poses. Do you think they spread wrong values?
Watson: Actually, I'm glad we've overcome some feminism clichés, and that today you can also wear makeup and high heels, even if you're a feminist. But you're right, even in our enlightened society there are still things going wrong. Instead of teaching girls to be respected for what they say, think, or do, many media suggest us that the most important for young women should be their appearance, their body. Even I, as a university graduate, was highly irritated that some people are apparently only interested in my outfit, and by questions on whether I look good in a bikini. I often think "Grrr! Who the hell cares?" There's still so much to do!

Can you still move freely in public?
Watson: That's a real problem. Museums are still a reasonably safe place, because, at least officially, you're not allowed to take pictures. I'll gladly talk to people who come to me, but not take pictures. Because then the picture is tweeted, then everyone knows my whereabouts, and then I only have a few hours of peace left. But go explain that to fans who pull out their phones in five seconds.

Have you ever had bizarre experiences with the tabloids, like some of your colleagues?
Watson: I've always thought it was important to draw boundaries and clearly state what I want to talk about or not. My personal life has always been restricted.

Maybe, but Robert Pattinson said it wouldn't have helped him, because then the media would have made something up.
Watson: I've also experienced that unfortunately. Suddenly, there was a bizarre parallel universe where I had all kinds of affairs with Prince Harry or Harry Styles. Mostly, I didn't care. I've watched what they made up about me with great amusement. Sometimes I come to a point where I think: "Maybe I should put an end to all this before they say I'm pregnant from whichever Harry!"

Do you mean you're not expecting a child with the Prince Harry himself?
Watson: Yes. I know it's very disappointing. But you must be very strong, because it's the bitter truth (laughs)

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