Emma Watson: Hermione’s last stand

Actress Emma Watson enters the "Late Show With David Letterman" taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on July 11.

From the age of 9, British actress Emma Watson has lived and breathed “Harry Potter” — having starred in all eight of the films as Potter’s close friend, the bookish Muggle-born Hermione Granger. While Watson gave a tearful speech at the final film’s premiere in London last week, as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” gets released, the actress is also eagerly awaiting her post-Potter life — even if she and Hermione have basically become the same person.
 
What was your last scene as Hermione?

The last shot we did was this strange moment where we dive into the fireplace in the Ministry of Magic. It was actually for Part 1, not Part 2, and so Dan, Rupert and I one by one jumped onto these blue safety mats. It seemed like a strange scene to go out on but actually [director David Yates] made the point that we were leaping into the unknown.

What character traits do you feel you share with Hermione?

Not so much now, but I guess an earnestness, eager to please and do the right thing. Terrified of ever getting into trouble.

Could you see yourself singing on Broadway like your co-star Daniel Radcliffe?

Dan is so ballsy. That kid, amazing. I would love to do something on Broadway. I think I need to pluck up more courage, but I love to sing.

Now that this series has ended, do you have a favorite out of the lot?

The last two, for me, really stand apart from all of the rest. The quality is amazing. The role and the depth and how much darker they get gave me a chance to stretch myself as an actress and really feel like I was an actress and like I was acting.

How is fame treating you these days?

It became easier to handle once I accepted it. I feel fortunate in that I’ve never really known what it’s like to have total freedom and anonymity. It’s not as though I had it and then all of a sudden it got taken away from me. It’s something that I grew up knowing.

The characters in “Harry Potter” endure so many tests of their bravery. Have you had an experience like that in your own life?

I feel like young girls are sold this idea that they have to be this princess and be all delicate and fragile. It’s bulls—. I identified much more with being a warrior and being a fighter.

Looking into the future

What’s next for you?

It’s obviously scary — change is always scary, but I feel like I’m entering a new chapter, like I get a fresh start, and there’s something really exciting about that. I have just made a film called “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which was just an incredible experience. I had the best six weeks. Having an experience like that outside of “Harry Potter” was what convinced me that acting really was what I should be doing.

So are you going back to Brown?

I’m going to Oxford in the fall to study English for a year. I haven’t left Brown. I’m still enrolled at Brown but I’m doing my third year abroad, studying at home, abroad for me. I’ll go back to the States for my last year. I took a semester off but I’m no further behind. I’m still technically going into my third year.


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