Bewitched: Emma has us completely mesmerized. That's what we call "Emma-ized"!
The phone rings; we pick it up: "I have a call for you with Emma Watson," says an operator. "You and Emma are on."
"Hi, Emma. How are you?"
"I'm good, thank you," she says, with that British accent that instantly gives off an air of politeness, composure, grace.
"Are you in London right now?"
"I'm in Oxford, actually."
Ah, one might conjure up images of Emma chatting on her cell from a fancy suite of some sort. But then ...
Emma at home
"I'm in my bedroom. I love my room. It's quite girly, kind of glitter pink. It's got loads of photos on the wall, and postcards and posters. It's my escape from everything."
Right out the gate, we pick up on her real-girl vibe. And we're diggin' it. She gives the deets on her far-out family tree: "I have a quite complicated family life. My dad is remarried, and he has three children. My mom has a new partner, and he has two kids. Then I have a real brother called Alex, so I'm one of seven now. They keep me really down-to-earth. I mean, I can't get away with anything. They'll just be like, 'Oh, here we go. She's going to completely overdramatize and exaggerate everything,' which I do have a tendency to do."
Emma is thankful she doesn't have to share her room with any of the extended sibs. "Yeah, I'm 17--you'd hope, ya know?"
We figure she has a really cool ride, too, but Emma isn't licensed yet. "I'm going to learn, which is a terrifying thought. I don't feel old enough to drive. In America, you get to drive when you're like 16, which is so cool. But here, it's different.
"All my girl friends are like, 'Oh, my God, you have to get an amazing car. Get a BMW!' And I'm just, 'Oooh, I don't know.' I find driving intimidating enough and having some beast of an engine that cost loads of pounds ... if I damage it or whatever and the cost of insurance. A little Protege will be fine. I want a cute little car that's safe. Yeah, I'm such a girl."
And girls have crushes.... Her celebrity crush? "Well, I, yeah, Mekhi Phifer from ER. I quite like him."
Her dream leading man? "Johnny Depp. I'd learn quite a lot from him. I quite respect everything he's done."
Emma's take on rumors? (Specifically, those swirling around in entertainment news about her not being on board for the remaining HP films.) "I don't know. I've signed on for the next two definitely, but I actually took some time to think about how I was going to make it work with school. I want to go to university ... and just juggling it with my life. I wanted to think about it, you know? The press made assumptions before they had anything. They wanted to write a story, so they decided they would write that. That's what they do for a living, blow things out of proportion. I'm doing [the films], so [the tabloids] just look pretty stupid now."
We ask if she's been the subject of rumors in her personal life. "A couple," she tells us. "Nothing major, kind of funny stuff. Nothing that's really affected me, but I think it's just being a teenager. Like, rumors about me seeing different guys--stuff that isn't true."
Of course, we're dying to know if she has a boyfriend. "Yeah, I do," she 'fesses, and she's very cordial when cutting us short of prying for any BF-related info. "But I don't really want to talk about my private life, if that's OK."
Emma has blocked us from talking about the BF, so we ask about the other two main men in her life--Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. She's grown up with them, after all. As the youngest of the trio, she tells us they're like big brothers to her. Very protective. On set, the three are thick as thieves. When not filming, they keep in touch by phone and texting.
That's all fine, but we want the goods. C'mon, she must know secrets about her BGFs. "What do people not know about Dan? He works out quite a bit. And he writes beautiful poetry. He's written scripts and short stories. He's talented."
As for Rupert? "Rupert is a deadly pool player. He's good at darts, as well. I'm a table-tennis goddess. I'm seriously competitive, to the point where it's quite scary."
Speaking of scary, Emma talks of her stunts for Phoenix. "I find lots of [stunts] enjoyable. But we did quite a long drop. We put on a harness and had to--oh, my God, my stomach muscles ached so much--but we had to balance ourselves horizontally so we fell flat, if that makes sense. And we stopped quite close to the ground, which is scary. Normally, I'm like, 'Let's do it again!' But on this, I was like, 'I think ... I think I'm done now. Once or twice is enough. I'm good.'"
Another scene she found particularly challenging: "The final sequence, when we've kind of been captured by the Death Eaters and Harry's being forced to go over the globe. That was all quite intense."
But neither of those is her fave. No, because just like the real girl she is, Emma prefers the romantic aspects over the action-adventure: "I'm looking forward to seeing Harry and Cho's kiss 'cause I missed that and I haven't seen that yet. I want to see it."
Emma at school
When we ask if she has had a teacher as evil as Ms. Umbridge, Emma treads lightly: "I have people ... I don't get along with. Never someone quite as bad as that. Bad, but not that bad. Detention is torture."
Ah-ha! Detention. Maybe Miss Watson doesn't draw on real-life traits when channeling by-the-book Hermione. We figure we might have a bit of dirt on Emma, but as it turns out, she's not guilty of more than tardiness and teacup-tipping. "If I get called up for anything, it's because I'm late for lessons. I'll be in the common room sipping my tea, and it's like five minutes past. They'll be like, 'You're late again.' But I wouldn't really say I'm naughty, no."
On the contrary, Emma claims to be a good student who pulls a righteous report card. "I'm like Hermione in that respect. I work hard. I'm quite eager and keen to do well."
We wonder if she has a tough time with kids at school. Some are often jealous of students who are conscientious--and those who are movie stars. "I'm quite lucky in the school I go to. I guess it takes awhile for them to see I want to be like everyone else. I just want to fit in, and I don't want any special treatment. I don't want to be made a fuss of. So it's good."
Surely, she must encounter some mean girls. "Yeah, I think that's part of being my age. There will always be people you get on with or don't like as much. But nothing really bad." We ask how she deals when girls do get jealous. Does she ice them out? Face off? "Gosh, I'm quite confrontational. Not in an aggressive way, but I'd much prefer things were OK and we talked about it instead of ignoring each other or saying things behind each other's back. I prefer to sort it out."
What about the boys? "I'm quite competitive with guys. I'm a bit of a feminist, like Hermione is." That makes us curious as to what sports she excels in. "Field hockey is my strongest. I play tennis, golf. I play rounders, which is kind of our version of baseball. And I do track, as well, hurdles and sprints, but only like 100 meters, not long distance."
No Quidditch? "No Quidditch. I wish. Oh, my God!"
Emma on the weekends
Can Emma Watson even leave the house? Don't people recognize her? Are there mob scenes? "I mean, I live a normal life. I take the bus, I take public transport, I walk around. I appreciate my fans, I do. A couple of times it's been really inappropriate or awkward, or people have been just a bit rude. But the majority are honestly friendly and really nice."
Emma spends her time off going to the movies or out to dinner. "Yeah, that kind of thing. With Amy and Irial. I've been friends with them since my second school, like high school. I'm a really loyal friend. Like Hermione, if anyone is mean to one of my friends, that will really upset me."
So how does she tell a true friend from a fake? "Dan once made a very perceptive comment. He said, 'The people who try and assert themselves are not being a friend, and those are the ones you have to watch.' The ones who are like, 'I want you to know I'm not your friend because you're famous,' it shows they're aware of it. Whereas, my real friends don't even think about it. If I get recognized, they'll laugh and say, 'Oh, yeah, I forgot--you're famous.'"
Emma of the future
And celebrity can be a finicky thing--sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn't. Poof! Disappears, just like that. Especially for stars who kick off careers during childhood. But Emma isn't so concerned about whether or not she'll stay in the fame game. "I love to write, I love to sing, I love to dance, I love to act, I love public speaking. I just ... Hermione, her thing is knowledge and learning and school, but I like to think of myself as a bit more of a well-rounder. What I hope is that I'll do loads of different things."
So we make her choose--just one magical power. If she could pick one, what would it be? "I would love to have a Time-Turner. I'm one of these people who tries to fit about 20 million things into my day. And so to be able to rewind time or go forward or if I'm really tired, just to say, 'Hang on, stop a minute.' That would be ideal." Leave it to Emma to turn a single thing into 20 million.... It's magic.
Photographed by Lorenzo Agius
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|Article Type:||Cover story|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2007|
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