Image Map
About meeting Robin Williams (2002): "I met Robin Williams the other night, when I was in NY. (Interviewer: and did he know who you were)? Yes, he did! (Interviewer: that's cool!) Yes, that's VERY cool!"

New Interview and Photos with Emma in New York Times

The New York Times has a new interview with Emma in their T-Magazine  – Women’s Fall Fashion issue. Emma talks about working on her American accent for Perks, continuing her education and acting, and dealing with fame. The article includes a new photoshoot by Alasdair McLellan.


Update: Added another photo from the magazine. Thanks for the tip Cathe.



The Graduate By WILL SELF | August 17, 2012 New York Time T-Magazine

Emma Watson, the onetime co-star of the most successful movie franchise ever, is a very grateful and a very lucky person. How do I know that? Because I sat down with the 22-year-old in a gastropub in a trendy neighborhood of North London, and in the course of an hour’s conversation she said “grateful” five times and “lucky” eight. True, of those five “grateful”s two were of the “ungrateful” form — yet these were embedded in clauses like “I felt guilty because I felt like that meant I was ungrateful. . . .” So, as you can see, Watson is a young woman who wants it put firmly on the record that she understands human lives are shaken up in the snow globe of uncertainty, and that simply because she’s ended up being covered in golden flakes, she doesn’t take it as her due, oh, no.

Pale skinned, serious of mien, with tiny little Meissen china ears furled tightly against her tiny little Meissen china head, her brown hair scraped back into a bunch, her meager form lost in a baggy white T-shirt, Watson still looks younger than she is. She’s neat-featured; all the headlines of her face — eyes, brows, cheekbones — seem as if underlined. And it’s quite possible that this rather serious emphasis, all those years ago, alerted the casting director that this 9-year-old girl should play Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, rather than the umpteen thousand others who were gagging, swooning, dying to do so. Oh, and then there’s her mouth, which, in mid-moue, has a top lip that looks sharp enough to give you a paper cut.

But setting her calendar age to one side, Watson’s neoteny affects more than her physical appearance, for she is enfolded in the diaphanous — yet profoundly real — swaths of her former status as a child star. I can’t say I ever paid that much attention to her acting in the Potter movies, but I’ve looked for many, many hours in the general direction of screens upon which Watson has performed spells, mixed potions, ridden magical beasts and generally cavorted about. With four children of my own, ranged over 11 years, the eldest the same age as the actress, and the youngest just 11, I’ve been exposed to a great deal more of the franchise than I would’ve wished. Watson’s performances, per se, aren’t the point here: it’s that I, like no doubt many of you, have grown older while she grew up. When the first movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” came out, I was a relatively feisty 40-year-old. But when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” finally shazammed to its inevitable happy ending, I was a downright cranky half-centenarian.

So, Watson will always be, for me, a nice middle-class English girl pretending to be another nice middle-class English girl who’s lucky enough to have magical powers for which she’s extremely grateful. That off-screen those magical powers consist of the ability to transform cavorting about into huge mounds of gold — her personal fortune is estimated at $40 million — only goes to prove that we live in a world at least as strange as J. K. Rowling’s fictions. Now Watson has started to cavort in rather more adult vehicles; the first of these is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” an indie venture directed by Stephen Chbosky and adapted from his novel of the same name (out next month). It’s a semi-disturbing bildungsroman, set in early 1990s Pittsburgh, about a misfit kid named Charlie, who finds his niche in high school when he falls in with a bunch of like-minded misfits. Watson plays his object of desire, Sam, and she does this with reasonable éclat and newfound maturity. She also manages the difficult feat — for a nice English middle-class girl — of sustaining an American accent. I told her how good it was and she thanked me nicely and explained how she’s honed her vowels: “My grandma said — when I was really young and I’d sing along to the radio — why do you sing in an American accent? I guess it was because a lot of the music I was listening to had American vocalists. And that was something Steve said to me as well: try singing the lines in an American accent. That kind of opened me up. Then I worked with a dialogue coach and I just put in the time to really, really listen and just go over it and over it and over it until I could do it without thinking about it too hard. And I just knew it was really important.”

I concede the above has been lightly purged of “like”s (although meanly I left the “just”s and the “really”s), those nonce words so crucial to the speech patterns of any Mid-Atlantean under 30, but it does give a fair flavor of Watson’s earnestness and dedication as an actress. I asked her why she’s waited this long to make other movies and she put her head on one side, thought for a while, then said: “I think at first I didn’t because I was always either studying or filming, I didn’t have time to go off and do other films or other things to sort of show people that, Oh, she is not just Hermione, she is an actress and she can go and do these other parts and roles. . . . I didn’t, because I was so focused on, you know, on my GCSEs and on my AS and on my A-levels and then getting in to university and then whatever, I didn’t really have time to do any of that.” Meanwhile, her “Potter” co-stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, had already begun to appear in other contexts before the franchise finished; Radcliffe most notably in a stage production of Peter Shaffer’s “Equus,” a distinctly challenging part that entails sturm, drang and full-frontal nudity. Watson considered the performance “incredibly brave, and I think people were impressed by his dedication and his work ethic. I mean he did it when he was, like, 17, and that play is dark and demanding and, yeah, and you’ve quite literally got to be ballsy to do it.”

Watson ended up attending Brown University, and when we spoke had just finished doing a year abroad at Oxford University. She has one more semester at Brown before she completes her degree. Not that she’s only studied and Pottered — Watson is the face of Lancôme, and she’s done a fair bit of modeling over the past three years. She told me that this was her way of establishing a public identity for herself separate from the brainiac character of Hermione Granger.

Watson opted for Brown because it gave her more flexibility to complete the Potter filming, and then do the remorseless grind of publicizing the movies. I wondered if she had enjoyed her time there, given that she was always jetting off elsewhere, and she said, “My first two years at Brown weren’t easy, not because I was bullied or because anyone gave me a particularly hard time, but just because, you know, without the collegiate system . . . and at Brown everyone does completely different things and very much chooses their own path, which is great, but it’s also much more difficult, too. You’re not with a group of people all the time at one time.”

Her last year at Oxford had been easier, partly because she was living in college and able to find a circle of friends, but also because she was close to her mother’s home. She grew up there, with weekends at her father’s in the same London neighborhood where we were conducting the interview. (Her parents, both lawyers, separated when she was young.) Observing her career over the years in a desultory way, I’d gained the impression that there was someone altogether savvy watching over her — something she initially caviled about, but then said: “Yeah, I think I’ve been lucky in that neither of my parents got swept up in it, it wasn’t something they wanted for me, it wasn’t something that they were overawed by. They gave me the best advice they could, and I think they gave me very good advice. But my mum particularly said, ‘Right, you’re going to go into these interviews and they’re going to ask you anything they feel like asking you, and every time they ask you a question, think about whether you’d be comfortable discussing it with a stranger.’ ”_Grounded Watson undoubtedly is, and that’s possibly why she was astute enough to realize that the Potter franchise had acted as a splint to her career; which is also why she’s taken the time out at college ­— testing her legs in a student production of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” among other things — before making her own decision about continuing with professional acting. The measured approach is paying dividends: after “Wallflower” she shot “The Bling Ring” with Sofia Coppola in Los Angeles, and when she spoke to me she was about to start to making Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” in New York. It’s a fairly sharp ascent — from kiddie flicks to indie flick to grade-A art-house movies — and I observed that from the outside it looked rather calculating. To begin with, Watson demurred: “I’m not really sure how I’ve managed to do it.” But then she got a little more real: “I guess weirdly in my head I knew what I wanted, I didn’t know how it would or if it would ever happen. But before ‘Bling Ring,’ I said I’d really wanted to meet Sofia Coppola and — this is before I knew that she had a film in mind — ended up meeting her. And Darren was someone who actually I met a good year ago. And then I’m doing a film with Guillermo [del Toro] next summer, and I went to him and said Warner Brothers have given me the script for ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ but the only way I’d really want to do it is if you did it. And then miraculously he said, ‘Oh, funnily enough ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is my favorite fairy tale, I can’t let anyone else do this, I’ll start putting a team together.’ ”

There are inchoate glints here of a future Hollywood mover and shaker, but, speaking to Watson, they were offset by an impression of someone still looking for nurture in each new temporary family she encounters — whether it be the Potter circus, the cast of “Wallflower” or at Brown. I suspect it may be this emotional connection she seeks quite as much as fulfillment through acting. She certainly has no desire for the glitzy lifestyle her wealth could afford her, this she made perfectly clear — and I believe her. (Watson did talk to me a little about her roles, but I simply can’t hear actors when they speak about their work — the world around me grows sort of misty, and often I swoon away altogether. A famous Shakespearean actor was once talking to me over lunch about his Lear, and I very nearly put my eye out with the top of the pepper grinder.)

I was also touched by Watson’s tales of coming to realize the horrific extent of her face recognition as a child star. She told me that up until she was 15 or 16 she still took the bus from Oxford to London, determined to be just an ordinary girl — this was her strange form of rebellion — but that it became too much when everyone on the bus was either talking about or at her. Nowadays, while she can walk around fairly happily in quiet areas of London or New York, there are plenty of other places that are off-limits: “If I went to somewhere busy, I wouldn’t last very long. I can’t go to a museum, I’ll last 10 or 15 minutes in a museum. The problem is that when one person asks for a photograph, then someone sees a flash goes off, then everyone else sort of . . . it’s sort of like a domino effect. And then very quickly the situation starts to get out of control to a point where I can’t manage it on my own.” I suggested to her that with fame there comes a point when you decide that whatever the downside of people gawping at you in the street, there remains an upside, and I was still more touched by the trenchancy of her reply: that it’s more just like “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Nowadays Emma Watson is set to make a lot more lemonade, and as I left her I thought: I damn well hope it’s potable — then checked myself. After all, why does it matter to me? Unlike with her earlier screen incarnation, I will not be compelled by my children to witness these ones. No, I can decide to watch her movies or not, as I choose, just as she has chosen to become a real grown-up actress. And that, surely, is what cinematic art should be: an act between consenting adults.

Comments closed for this item.

46 Responses to “New Interview and Photos with Emma in New York Times”

  1. Chris says:

    The photoshoot was great, goes to show you don’t have to put women in skin tight leather pants or mini skirts to show some skin to make a memorable impact. As far as the article goes, it just read weirdly to me. It almost felt like he was trying to make the article as much about himself as to who he was interviewing. The info on Emma and what she had to say was nice (most seems to have been public knowledge by now with a few new stuff), but the style the author choose was a huge turn-off for me.

  2. you are looking damn good in the photoshoot..keep it up.

  3. 130671 says:

    How much she has grown up. Like the b/w one with the glass 🙂

  4. anna says:

    I really did not like the author of this story. I feel like he looked down at Emma even though she’s accomplished so much. He was so rude in general that it was a rather unpleasant article to read. The only bits that were pleasant was when Emma was speaking and he even managed to ruin that by saying that he took out the “likes, justs, and really’s…” The pictures a lovely as ever but I was really disappointed in the article. But even though the writer was a jerkface of a person you can still see Emma’s charisma shine through everywhere it could. Yay for Emma!

  5. anna says:

    ps. She’s doing Beauty and the Beast?!

  6. victoria says:

    the journalist really bugs me. he’s so condescending and rude the whole time – saying that Emma’s niceness “must be fake, looking at how rich she is.” honestly can the press just give her a break and accept the fact that she’s a lovely person who HASN’T gone off the rails, and is still successful and famous?

  7. Jason says:

    my god, what a tedious article. I couldn’t finish it. The pomposity and 18th vocabulary of that poseur was just intolerable. Talk about a self-important stuffed shirt! You had to go over it with a fine-toothed comb to find out anything about Emma we didn’t aleady know. Not worth reading.

  8. Jason says:

    Make that “18th century vocabulary”

  9. Sacred_Path says:

    The author DID sound very patronizing. Was it Emma’s ‘tiny Meissen china head’ that made him act like that? We know that some people just have hypnotizing skulls after all 😉

  10. Kristen says:

    I ignored the writer and focused on what Emma had to say…I thought I was taking my SATs again with that vocabulary they used….anyway Emma was as lovely, grounded and sweet as always…the pictures are gorgeous…beautiful inside and outside. Yes sounds like Beauty and Beast will be filmed next summer!!! 🙂

  11. Rafi says:

    she looks so much like Victoria Beckham in the the black and white picture of her sitting down

  12. Anonymous says:

    well no we can say that she was a college drop out and wasted money. she says she taking time off to focus on her careet, but we all know that celebrities who do this would most likely never return to college once they get their career going. Sad to see a straight a student go down the drain and not giving any of her money to charity. What a waste in money. Just sayin!

    • Thessalie says:

      Her college studies were not a waste of money. It’s not because you don’t have a degree that you wasted your time. She has learned a lot of things, she has lived an experience… that’s also what studies are about.
      Stop focusing about the degree. People without degrees are also worth listening, and she proved many times that she is intelligent and wise. However, she now has a passion in life that is her job (acting), and even though she wanted to study it seems she couldn’t manage to do both ! You don’t know how it was for her.
      Maybe once you’ll know what it is to have to chose between 2 things you don’t want to give up. If she had done both, she maybe would have been not great but just correct in both. I believe that’s why she chose to focuse one 1 thing and not 2.

    • Thessalie says:

      Actually, I don’t even understand why you say that. Only one semester remains for her, and she said recently in an interview (i don’t remember where) that she’ll do it during the second part of the year (around january, though I don’t know the american calendars for university).

      • Anonymous says:

        The average US university semester is 16 weeks long with a mid-term at the 8 week mark and final (However, there are terms that are 4, 6, 8, 12 weeks long at some institutions). There are not that many long breaks either in the school year except Christmas-New Years or summer. Some offer summer semesters (Jun-Aug) as well. A typical school year starts at the fall semester (Sept-Dec) and end with the spring semester (Jan-May). Students can take classes at any semester really.

    • Anonymous says:

      But u also got to understand that why should she waste money if she isn’t going to finish. She has said that her education is very important to her and here she is doing something else instead of finishing school. She is like the most famous person in the world, she will get plenty of movie roles in her future, but she doesn’t want to finish school. Even though she is very famous, her want for annominity is what she says she wants and yet she is taking these movie roles and not finishing school. Her life would be a lot easier for her if she finished school first and than did a lot of movies. That way she wouldn’t have to stress so much about finishing school and stuff. That’s why I think she is going to be a college drop out who wasted money.

      • Carrie says:

        But she says — in this interview — that she only has one semester left. I think that implies that she’s going to finish.

      • Chris says:

        Why would Emma drop out of school with 4 months to go in finishing a dream she has had since she was a kid and get that degree? And perhaps more importantly, why would she emphasize that point twice now in the last month if she had no plans on graduating? The biggest problem with Emma is that she seems to try to do too much all at once. That’s mainly because she is in such high demand to do jobs but that also means some things have to be pushed back. A delay does not mean that her passion for learning is gone. Keep in mind she’s been working on two seperate continents for roughly the past two years now. And education is never wasted money, whether you get a piece of paper out of it or not. Matt Damon dropped out of Harvard a semester before graduating just for the opportunity to get into Hollywood, he was the true definition of a nobody back then. Do you think he views his time there as wasted?

      • sparkvark111 says:

        Yah…Emma has taken on too much on herself at times over the years. I believe David Yates said once that she would do a long day at work on set and spend even more time after work with her fashion stuff. Not finishing a degree is a waste with semester left, but getting education is never a waste. After taking many college classes over the years, I think you gain a lot of information and methods that can be very helpful in your future. It may not seem that way while you take the classes, it does help with your decision making and personal development.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ur right a degree isn’t a waste, but like I said, I don’t think that she should spend money like that if she doesn’t finish and FYI she has a year left of school. She is going to be a senior in college, so she is mixed up about that and second she should spend her money giving to charity knowing that she would be overwhelmed by her studies and should never make herself do too much at once. She is not a good planner when it comes to her money since she going to through it away. Even though an education is never a waste, in today’s world u cant get anywhere without a degree and since she doesn’t need one, she shouldnt waste more money on something she won’t finish. She is just to arrogant to try to prove to people that she is the best person in the world for going to college when she wasnt the fits celebrity to go to college.

          • sparkvark111 says:

            Unless someone knows for fact that she has more than a semester, I will go by what is currently stated by Emma. No one can determine eligibility for graduation by classroom attendance alone. Does anyone think that Emma is the only person that is the only rich person at Brown? The argument that a wealthy person does not require a college education is very misguided. I would want person of influence or in a position of importance to be as educated as people around them. Does anyone think that Emma is the only student with commitments outside of school or that have to take time away from school? I think not. You can schedule both work and school, people do it all the time. I had to do it. :rolleyes:

  13. Anonymous says:

    this is so off topic for this site, but since i was lookin at the pic, anyone whose from london, did the victoria secret store open already? curious cuz im going in a couple days to london and want to know some familiar places to shop.

  14. HELEN says:

    I focused my fab eyes on her fab photos, and went on to edit some. I couldn’t read much, just what she had to say, quotes here and there, fine with me.

  15. Luis says:

    I like how she looks at the bigger photo (with grey cap & coat)… in fact, I think it could probably be in the next calendar 😛
    Can’t wait to see the whole photoshoot soon! 😉

  16. Anonymous says:

    It looks like this from the photo-shoot from end of April-early May of this year. 🙂

  17. susang bhatt says:

    i read a T Magazine Arcitle.It’s Amazing.The Arctile Saws How Skillful Actress is emma.

  18. Jaana says:

    I love the photos! Emma looks as stunning as always and the clothes look really nice too. But that article…. What a complete waste of space!

  19. Thessalie says:

    I really like the pictures exept the 2nd one (only her face) and the one in b&w where she stands, cause the shades on her face look weird. Otherwise she looks great as usual, and as someone already said, no need to act sexy half naked to make a massive impression !

  20. Anonymous says:

    The way this was written really annoyed me, particularly the bit about ‘like’s, ‘just’s and ‘really’s. I don’t understand why he felt the need to put that in; pretty much all ‘young people’ in England speak like that, whether working, middle or upper class. The author seems very condescending and the sarcastic way that he talks about her trying to be a normal girl as ‘her strange form of rebellion’ was irritating – why shouldn’t she have tried to stay a normal girl? I can’t imagine going backwards and forwards between London and Oxford every weekend though. Despite the author’s tone, Emma’s quotes were interesting.

  21. Jonny Carinthia says:

    A well written thing; it showed me, that older people (the author is 50, if I read it right) have a different look on a 22 year old person, beeing a ‘superstar’, and not one of the “hurray”-journalists, putting Emma in a shrine without any personal thinking about her….
    I think, all Emma-fans will learn in the future, that it must be possible to citicise her…..

  22. sparkvark111 says:

    There is a slight dismissive tinge to the interview that doesn’t bother me too much. However, I tend to like more straight-forward interviews that don’t inject a lot commentary and definitely, in this case, that much metaphorical speak that sound more editorial. This tends, for me at least, to separate the reader from the subject of the interview. I don’t mind some commentary and explanations as long as this keeps the subjects words in the context that they meant to say. 🙂

  23. WillowofNarnia says:

    She is so pretty it’s not even fair!!! There, I said it. lol! 😀

  24. love-emmawatson says:

    Emma looks so good! 😛 <3

  25. Nicole says:

    Fantastic read..some of the stuff in there i’ve heard before, but some of the things Emma said are brand new to me 🙂 i’m really excited that emma is now confirmed to be in beauty and the beast..this is also one of my favourite photoshoots, i saw and just went…WOW!!! Stunning!!

  26. Nicole says:

    *saw it*

  27. tatiana says:

    When was this photoshoot taken? I thought her hair was growing back?

    • sparkvark111 says:

      I believe this was taken end of April-May 2012 of this year. I think her hair is just tied back. 8)

  28. KS987 says:

    Okay, why did they send this guy to interview Emma? He comes across as unprofessional and bitter in general. He spends a good chunk of the article complaining about having to remove the “likes”, hearing actors in general talk about their roles, etc. I hope he didn’t act like this when interviewing Emma. I wonder why the didn’t edit this article, especially the pointless rant about having to remove the “young people speak” and him admitting he ignores character descriptions?

    Anyway, ignoring that, I enjoyed Emma’s parts. So she does only have one semester left. Which is good news because her schedule might become a little easier to manage once she graduates. It also seems like Beauty and the Beast will begin filming next year as well. 🙂 Again, this interview would have been better had they sent someone else to do it.

    And boy is she a beauty in the photoshoot. 😀 Wow!!!

  29. ronhenrywilliamsII says:

    I was introduced to Harry Potter by dear friends….I had lost my family.My friends came by and had noticed I stopped leaving my room…I still functioned…but more or less roboticly.Wes handed it to me and said.”Watch this,I can see your changing,and…we love you,and there are certain similarities between you and Harry,you will feel better. I most certainly did not!Not at first,at first it was tit-fot-tat parralel with every bad memory I had!Father died when I was 5,mother…always gone,I spent time locked in a closet for days at a time by bullying drug-addicted older brothers who hated me!My deceased father you see,had been a hard-nosed cop. They’re torture was relentless,and sometimes they would leave for days!The physical abuse was far worse,so in time,I preferred the closet…It armed me against them with the perfect weaponry…BOOKS,and damn good ones,I armed myself with ‘Agatha,Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine,and of course,’Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.Needless to say,since that time I’ve always had…a bit more to offer bullies,even though I’m only five foot seven. When I lost several loved ones,it was fast!In less than 10-12 days,I lost my mother,two brothers(one in route to the funeral,a drunk driver in Jacksonville on an 8-day drinking and coke binge took out several cars killing sevaral people!he was the only one to walk away un-harmed.My brother died on a cell phone explaining why he ‘couldn’t make it’.Then a gun with no safety clamed the life of a life-long friend. It took a while for me to…..fall,mostly shock but I had to keep my game-face on,too.You see,these sleazy,brutal…nasty brothers returned for the funerals as well.They left early to break in to my mothers place to ‘get dibs’ on whatever valuables were there!I was so disgusted I told them to just take it and go,I’ve NEVER been materialistic still,I had not noticed how well they picked this place clean!I don’t care,I’ve got my room.When they left I just went through the motions….go to my job,go to my room,when I caught myself pouring dog-food for my dead dog I thought,damn,”Didn’t I just bury him?”and I answered ”NO,you just buried EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE THAT EVER LOVED YOU.” and I fell.I cried soooo hard.”Has anybody seen a toad?” I thought what a gentle, sweet,but utterly strange question!I wiped my eyes,stood up,turned around….and began to smile….and slowly,so very,very slowly….heal. I’ve started going to this library because I ran out of books,I’m glad I did!My place is gutted,empty,and dead….like my very heart but I still …continue to ….continue.I half-joked to myself that I might even spot a miserable,muttering house-elf skulking about when it hit me,the miserable old house-elf is me! I saw our hero Emma in a photo reading ‘The Alchemist’,so I checked it out and having read it…..I…I used to love to travel….I’ve made plans,getting some of my ”affairs in order”,if you will,and then I’m doing something that might even make Emma proud.Hell,maybe even envious because it’s on such a grand scale….I….I am terrified,but,at the same time crying for….for joy!This place is dead and desolate and cold.I’m leaving this place… explanations and no idea where….well….not yet,I….I wonder what I’ll see!!! Emma,you and Rupert,and Dan will always have GENERATIONS of children that will love you,and what those books stand for!FRIENDSHIP and you ….being a lady of conscience,kindness,and love gives more than a pretty face,Your care for this world and love for life coupled with yor intell…..takes you completely out of any modern-era clebrity status…!Your….LEGEND,will probably be time….honored.Much like Princess Diana……Joan of Arc,possibly.Must be a helluva pressure and I hope love is EXACTLY what it’s suppossed to be for you and Rupert and Dan and……and for ALL. love ALWAYS…..and always LOVE..

  30. Misha says:

    If this idiot simply can’t hear actors when they talk about their work, he is obviously in the wrong profession and should have been fired long before he wrote this drivel. What a condescending, self-important waste of space.

    Emma is lovely as always, in the interview and in the photos 🙂