Emma ... Hermione ... same girl? Will you ever look at actress Emma Watson and not see Hermione Granger? Someday. But right now, Emma is all abut playing Harry Potter's super-smart sidekick.
With her fourth movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire about to hit theaters worldwide, Emma Watson mindfully reinforces Hermione as a strong, smart female character for all girls to admire. "I've been denying that I'm like her for ages, but I think now she's a really great role model. It's nice to be compared to her," says Emma. "We do share some attributes, like I love school, I work hard, and I'm a feminist--I'm very pro girl!" It's obvious Emma understands the importance of Hermione's place in the Harry Potter history ... probably because it's her history, too.
The Oxford-born Emma was only 9 when she became Hermione. She's nearly 16 now and, like the character she plays, is a studious intellectual with hyper-driven ambition. "The vast majority of the auditions were them asking me questions about myself," Emma says. "Then they started having me read, and I think the lines I was given were where I was talking to Harry about not going after Sirius Black. I wanted it more than anything in my whole life." So let's give credit where credit is due. Emma is Hermione.
She had never been in front of a camera before she auditioned for the role--so snaps in no small doses to Emma's natural talent. She's made us love Hermione as much as we love Harry. Sometimes, we love her even more because she's the Hogwart cohort who fearlessly comes up with the perfect spell, the fast plan of action, or some awarding insight just when Harry and R-R-R-Ron are about to crack under pressure. But when Emma isn't Hermione ... then what?
GL readers from all over e-mailed us their questions about everything Emma--her life as Hermione, plus plenty of dish about Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Here are those questions with Emma's answers, all the way from London on the set of Phoenix. Glorious!
GL: What do you like best about Rupert Grint?
Emma: I love Rupert because he has the best comic timing of anyone! I think he's absolutely hilarious. He can make me laugh like no one else.
What do you like best about Daniel Radcliffe?
Dan is just ... It's hard to find one specific thing. He's just a really good friend to me. He's really kind and a good guy. He's really generous with himself. There are times when I'm at the end of my tether, and he'll still have energy. It doesn't matter how tired he is, he'll still be polite to people.
Have you ever been angry at the boys or regretted being a part of the films?
There are ups and downs with everything. Obviously, like with anything, there are things that have bothered me. But I would never in a million years take back the experience doing the films has given me. Never, ever.
Are there any secrets between the three of you that no one else is in on?
Yes, definitely. We have quite a strong friendship. Not many people know what it's like to have been through what we've been through.
How have the boys changed since the first movie?
They're just ... bigger. They have deeper voices, bigger shoulders. I've noticed them changing because I've been changing with them.
What character would you like to play in the films if you could be anyone besides Hermione?
Malfoy! I'd like to be the bad guy for a change. I think it would be fun to be someone different, to be bad. It's easier and more fun to play a severe character.
What was it like to act with all the special effects, and how does it work?
You get used to it. It's really clever how the director does it, especially when they're supposed to be playing quidditch, because we can't really watch it. There are numbers in places as marks for us to look at, and the director will say "Cheers!" or "He fell off!" and we'll all look at that number with a reaction.
What was it like to film the Yule Ball?
It was so much fun! The sets were amazing. Everyone was there and involved in some way, so it was loads of people. I got to learn how to waltz, and I got to wear a beautiful ball dress in pink silk.
How do you prepare for the really emotional scenes?
The first director really got the point across to me to not act but to relate myself to the situation that Hermione is feeling. A lot of the time, especially in this last film, if I needed to get into a state, I thought about what had that affect on me in my life.
Are you working on any other projects?
My project at the moment is my schoolwork. I'm not auditioning for other roles. I'll maybe look for another job when I finish my exams. I'm interested in so many things that I'm not sure what particular path I want to go down. I know I want to go to college.
What is the most rewarding thing you've done in your life to help someone else out?
Once or twice a week throughout filming, a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation will come to the set and meet us. It can be quite emotionally draining. I get emotionally involved and get upset because they are terminally ill children. It's surprising how many kids' wishes were to come to the set. It was amazing to make such a big impact, to help make them happy. It was surprising how pleased they were to meet me.
Is it weird to be famous?
It's kind of ... I dunno, it's a bit surreal. I really don't feel famous. I forget that I am, and someone will stop me on the street and I'll remember. So it is weird. It's not important to me. I don't need people to know my name.
Do you feel like you're a role model as Hermione is?
I don't really know what about me would be role model-ish. I don't think I've done enough to deserve that, to be honest. It's a huge honor.
Do you feel pressure to act a certain way in public?
I don't worry or read what people have to say. I would say I'm proud to show parts of myself, and other personal and intimate parts I don't show. I suppose you only see certain parts of me. I try to be myself as far as possible.
Do you feel like you have to look a certain way, like with fashion and stuff?
I have always been kind of crazy with fashion. I wear and say what I feel comfortable wearing and saying. I care but not hugely. I wouldn't say fashion dominates my life. I'm quite casual and quite practical--I wouldn't freeze to death in a skimpy outfit! I'd say, "It's cold, for God's sake!" I think I'm a good mixture.
What's the difference between American and British teens?
I don't know that many American teens, but probably ... We're more reserved and shy. I'm always surprised at how outgoing and confident Americans are in comparison. It's not that we're mean or snobbish or not nice, but we don't have that kind of ... I don't know what the word is ... We're just more reserved.
What does your room look like?
It looks like a bomb went off! It's absolute chaos.
Have the rules changed at your house since you became Hermione?
The rules still apply! It doesn't matter what's going on in my life, I get the same treatment from my parents. My brother and I have to set and clear the table. I have to do household things. Nothing has changed!
Do you think you'll keep acting?
I'd want the project to be something I'm passionate about. I won't do a project just to do it.
Tell us something that no one knows about you.
Hmmm ... I love toast! Breads, toast, I live on the stuff! And I'm particular. When you're making toast, have your plate and your butter ready. You must butter it while it's still warm! Yes, toast. Toast is great!
Harry loves Cho.
With zero acting experience (not even a school play), meet the girl from Scotland who beat out 3,000 others for the role of Harry Potter's crush Cho Chang. She's Katie Leung, 18, and she'd prefer you call her Katt....
Vim on a whim "My dad watched an advert on telly for my role. It said you have to be 16 and you have to be of oriental appearance and you have to be British, and that kind of fitted me. The audition was on a Saturday, my dad's only day off work. So we just thought, you know, give it a try and went to audition for it."
Parental pressure "When he asked me to go down for audition, he wasn't really forcing me or anything, he was just suggesting. Afterward, when I got down to the last 100 people, he started to get kind of serious and he was like, "Yeah, you've got to try your hardest."
Bookish charm "I was a great fan of the films and read the first two books. But I didn't read the last three until I got the part--they were the books my character was in."
Copy-Katt "She's very emotional. She likes to cry and, you know, laugh. My character involved a lot of facial expressions rather than talking. In real life, I suppose I'm an emotional person. I kind of ... I'm like a crybaby when I don't get what I want. My favorite thing about playing Cho was being able to be popular. She's popular amongst the boys and the girls and, um, that's not something that happens in real life."
Love (dis)connection "She kind of has a little thing for Harry, but she has a boyfriend. Her and Cedric had more of a love thing than a crush thing and we know that, because in the fifth book, she never really gets over him even when she goes on a date with Harry. So, I think their love is pretty ill-fated from the beginning."
Real-life Daniel Radcliffe "The scenes we did do together, we just bonded really well. We're really great friends, like everyone else."
Flower of the Court
What you see isn't always what you get. And that's definitely the case with Fleur Delacour, 24, the part nonhuman beauty who can wow any boy into Ga-Ga Land. Clemence Poesy is the French girl who brings mysticism, arrogance and allure to this captivating character.
Play acting "My dad does theatre--he's an actor and director-so I had been in one of his plays, but I wouldn't really call that acting. It was more like my dad being nice and giving me two lines to say in his play, but that was it. At 16, I called an agent and we got along and started working together."
Ageless beauty "I felt quite old when I arrived on set and realized I was like five years older than most of the cast. But, you know, once you start working and they're so mature in a way that you don't really feel the age difference. We got along really well. I mean, it stayed, you know, a job. We were all working and everything, but it was a very nice way to work. We had some good laughs and some very nice moments. It was great."
Under her spell "The [other actors] are all pretending to be entranced with you so you don't know when they're really interested. I guess it's quite flattering. Playing that kind of archetype, that kind of image that people can't have a French girl, it was quite funny. It's quite good to have a bit of humor about it and to play with it." "She appears to be very elegant and a bit of a snobby kind of girl, which you then realize she's not only like that because she starts failing. She starts being scared. [A lot of the acting for this part] was really a way of holding myself and walking and, you know, things like that."
Hollow girl "I guess being invisible is always quite a nice thing to be able to be. Just to see things you could never see if you weren't. To go in places that, you know, when there's no one and you can have the whole place to yourself.... That would be great."
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|Title Annotation:||Emma Watson|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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