A few more interviews with Emma Watson during The Perks of Being a Wallflower premiere and junket
This first one is quite good. Well, the lighting is terrible, but Emma was quite talkative and some of the questions were interesting. She starts out talking about her first acting experience before Harry Potter, and it’s pretty good all the way through. Update: Added a transcript for the THR interview, see the end of this post.
Another interview from the LA red carpet
We’ve seen some segments of this before, but there’s a new bit where Emma talks about Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence.
Transcript of interview by Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, best that I could do. Excuse any spelling errors.
SF: Well, first of all thank you again, I really appreciate it.
EW: Thank you.
SF: I wanted to see just to begin with if you recall you acted even just for fun, what that might have involved, and then also, as part 2, what led to that first opportunity to do it professionally which I assume was for Harry Potter, how did that come about even?
EW: I’m like trying to think back the earliest time I started[?] performing, I think I did a play called “The Prince and the Swallow”. It was a school play and I got to wear this little red bandanna necktie and I had these like dark eyes as the swallow, and I got to sing, and I had to move around the stage like a bird, and like, I don’t even know[?]. But yeah, that was my first, and then when I was at the same school that did that performance, when the Harry Potter auditioners came and said “Do you have any kids between the age of 9 and 12, 13 that you want to put forward to audition Harry Potter, and my drama teacher put a group of 12 or 13 of us forward, and just in our school gym, we just kind of, we did some drama excercises I guess, and they took my photograph, and they asked… I got a phone call asking me to come to London three weeks later. And I just went on this rollercoaster, I ended up doing… they said they knew they wanted me after 2 or 3 auditions, and I did 9, because they needed to find… it wasn’t just about finding the right person for each character, it was about making sure that the three of us looked right together, and we had the right chemistry, and whatever else. It was a real journey, and when they actually told me I had the part, I couldn’t really, I couldn’t really process it. I couldn’t really believe it because it had been such a long [?], it was such a long time coming, I was just like almost numb. I kind of like numbed myself out to the whole thing. So, yeah that’s crazy.
SF: And when you were doing those auditions did you reach the same conclusions that they did about who, you know, that you paired best with the same ones that they did?
EW: Um, yeah, I think so. When I auditioned with Rupert and Dan, something just kind of felt right. So, yeah, I think I was on [?]. But they found Dan very late in the process. I auditioned with all the Harry’s. So, yeah, they found Dan.
SF: And just one last thing about that, going in, did you appreciate the, I mean the magnitude of the project, had you read the books?
EW: Honestly, I’m still appreciating the magnitude. Like every day, I’m still trying to get used to what my life is like now, that this thing happened. I mean every day. [?] goes by there isn’t something about my day thats a little bit abnormal, or wierd that I’m just like ‘Wow, this thing really had some impact huh?’. So yeah, I mean it’s been unbelievable really, I have to pinch myself sometimes. But, yeah.
SF: It seems like one of the really sort of positive things that might have come out of that experience was the opportunity to work with such a variety of directors and also basically every great older British actor.
EW: Yeah, no, it’s funny, I mean I say that there are positives and there are minuses about my experience. The positives.. I [?] the minuses first. Let’s go bad and then good. The bad is that I mean, what most people, what most actors and actresses do behind like closed doors, kind of like slowly but surely figuring themselves out, making mistakes, getting better, you know, all that stuff, I did with the world watching. Which was like, it makes you very afraid of being bold, of being brave, of really going for it, things like that, because you know, you know suddenly I had this awareness like age 12 or 13 I was like ‘Oh my God the whole world is going to see this performance’ and like it’s a lot of pressure, so, you are constantly fighting the fear factor. But then of course the plusses are that now honestly every movie set I go on, I walk onto set with the confidence that there is nothing they can throw at me that’s going to surprise me. I mean I’ve done scenes with animals, with owls, with bats, with cats, with special effects, with thespians, in the freezing cold, in the pouring rain, boiling hot, you know. I’ve done press with every syndication, every country. I’ve done interviews with people like dressed up as cows. Like there’s nothing, there’s honestly nothing that’s going to [?]
SF: Surprise you.
EW: And that’s a nice feeling to walk on, you know, to walk on somewhere [?]
SF: Surprise me.
EW: Surprise me. Just try. Go on. So, that feels good. So, it’s been good and bad. It’s been good and bad.
SF: Just to sort of tie in with Perks of Being a Wallflower, that these are, we’re talking about, certainly one character, and really a few characters that are almost not noticed really. For you, I wonder if it’s sort of the opposite issue that it’s hard obviously to go about your life without sort of standing out, even if you would like to, is that something, is it sort of worth the rewards that have come with the success of Harry Potter and your career in general, is it worth the price that you’ve had to pay for losing your anonymity basically.
EW: Um, I mean, it’s really interesting that you kind of understand that cause I sometimes feel like it’s difficult for people to relate to me until they spend like a day with me. And until they walk around with me in public, and then they’re like ‘Oh, this affects you every day of your life.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah’. And it’s like, yeah, I have to be a lot more calculating, because I’m a very private person, and because I actually really struggle with the attention. I’m generally a pretty shy kind of a person, so, it’s like, it’s tough figuring out how to manage it, but there are ways of managing it, and you just have to be smart and I just try and surround myself for the biggest proportion of time that I can with people who make me feel normal, because constantly feeling abnormal is quite difficult. Like having people…[?] understand, but having people stare and point and take pictures, even if it is in a positive framework is quite, it’s isolating. There’s no two ways about it. You feel a little bit, you know, a little bit freakish.
SF: So, knowing now what you know, if you were to be able to go back and potentially become a hairdresser or something, would you still choose to pursue the path that you pursued?
EW: As a person I have a belief system which is that everything happens for a reason and that I’m like taking this journey because it was my journey and this is where I was meant to be. I don’t really believe in like having regrets, it just not really in my mindset that, ‘Oh, if you could have done it differently, would you?’. It’s like that doesn’t even occur to me, I’m here and this is where I am, like you know, I’m just, I’m living, living it. You’ve got one life.
SF: And I think it seems like you’re making the best of it certainly. And you’re saying to surround yourself with people, you have a nice friend here I just met.
EW: Yeah, did you meet Amy? [???] She’s awesome. No, I have really really great friends, and that’s probably the only reason that I have any small degree of sanity, if I do, and I just keep them around me as much as I can. Cause they… yeah…
SF: Well one of the other, I would imagine, sort of great things that you probably weren’t able to appreciate until after Harry Potter that that experience gave you is now you really do carry a lot of clout in this industry and so from what I understand this particular movie, Perks of Being a Wallflower would not be without you.
EW: Well, I mean, the movie has some difficult, and pretty much taboo, issues in it. Like no one wants to make a movie that has… you know they hear the word child sexual abuse, and they’re like ‘Oh, we, no. We are not going there. That’s not for us. Thank you very much, but we’re not interested.’ And so, when I read the script, it felt like ‘Well of course someone’s going to want to make this movie.’ and then my agent told me they’re like ‘We just don’t know [?]. I’m like ‘Not with me and with Logan attached… No? They’re not in?’ So, I had to, I flew myself to LA and I sat down with everyone, with Disney, with Paramount, with everyone. And they’re all like ‘What movie [?]‘ and I was like ‘I really want to make this movie Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and Summit were the ones who were like, ‘Alright, we’re in, we’re going to go for it.’ So, yeah, it was really nice for me to see that I could change the course of a thing slightly. I mean that’s certainly one of the perks of [having?] the Harry Potters.
SF: The perks of the Perks of Being a Wallflower.
EW: Yeah, exactly, so, that was awesome. And I think, I honestly think the world would be a better place if there were more people like Charlie, and that’s so great that I’ve had a small part in that.
SF: And the fact that there will be people, they’re probably, I know there are already been people that have read the book, that it changed their lives. There may very well be people that see this movie…
EW: For sure, I really think that, and if I’ve made one person feel a little bit less alone for a second, then it was all worth it, all worth it. For sure.
SF: So, with that, you know you mentioned coming out here to talk about doing this project with the studios, and I imagine there was a lot of thought that probably went into what’s the first starring role going to be after Potter, because in a way that’s going to set the tone for the way your career goes for the next chapter or whatever. I mean I’m certainly am aware of “My Week with Marilyn”, I enjoyed that.
EW: Thank you very much.
SF: But this was like a different… this was your movie, this one, and I just wondered was there a lot of.. what were some of the considerations that go into, what do you first thing after Harry Potter.
EW: Yeah, it’s interesting it… I mean… I mean it’s still a supporting role. I mean it’s interesting in the book Sam, the way Sam is built up as a character is very much through Sam who’s a protaganist’s perspective, so, this was never going to be a break-out role for me, I was always here to support, as a supporing thing… a journalist said something really interesting to me the other day ‘Do you only take on supporting or small roles in movies because you don’t think that you’re good enough basically to do a movie on your own?’ I’m like, that is a really bizarre question to me, cause, this is maybe just the way I’m pursuing my career which is that I pick movies not roles. Like Sam is a great role, but as a movie? It’s such a great movie. And I’m like, I wanted to be a part of it. And with My Week with Marilyn I was like, this is going to be killer, Michelle Williams is amazing, Eddie Redmayne is great, Kenneth Branagh is awesome. I’m like, I want to be… even though it’s a tiny role, I want to be a part of that. And so, it was just really strange to me. But, yeah, coming out of Potter, I was studying at Brown, and I didn’t really want to work, and it was really just about waiting for something that really spoke to me, and I had no, there was no strategy. There was no like… if you had told me that the first movie I was going to do coming out of Harry Potter was an American high school movie, I would have laughed at you. I would have gone ‘Yeah, no way.’
SF: It’s about as far from your experience…
EW: Yeah, I was like that’s not what I want to do. I didn’t think I was going to do high school movies period. I wanted to do like you know do something… Then I read the script and it totally blew me away, and that’s how it happened. There was no like ‘I’m going to play this person next.’ You just, in this industry you just can’t do that. You have to, well I think you have to pick the movie, you have to pick the thing that comes along at the right moment, at the right time, with the right cast. And for me, that was Logan being cast as Charlie, that was Steve directing it, and it was that script. And, done deal. I’m in.
SF: So, in terms of story, scale every which way, it couldn’t be more different than what you’re coming off all these year of doing, right, this is a relatively tiny movie compared to that, at the same time, it is when you stop and think isn’t it kind of [?]?
EW: It was hilarious to me, I was like ‘You can make a movie for like less than 100 million dollars? Are you kidding me’. The budget that we had for Perks was like, that’s like… I couldn’t even. And they’re like ‘And we’re going to film it in 6 weeks.’ I was like, ‘You can make a movie in 6 weeks, when we did a Harry Potter it was like 7 months.’ This was like talking another language to me. I was… it was just another world. And then of course doing the American accent, and doing the American high school, which I have zero personal experience of, I turned up like a quivering, anxious nervous wreck about doing this movie. I was so nervous. I was like I have no personal experience to draw on. I have no idea if I can do this American accent. I’ve never done this a movie this small before. I was really, I was really nervous. I was like ‘What am I doing? Why was I [?]‘ And then immediately, Steve just really, I don’t know why, he really believes in me. And he’s like a Charlie, he’s like Charlie is to Sam. He just totally 100% believes in me and he gave me the confidence and the faith in myself that I could pull it off. And that was so awesome, and it just gave me permission to do something different, and show a different side of myself, which was just so liberating and exciting and I’m just so, I’m so proud to have been a part of it. And Logan is so great in it as Charlie, he’s heartbreaking, and Ezra is like the coolest funniest guy ever. So, it was great to learn from them, and I think it just took me another step closer to, you know, just maybe that little bit better.
SF: Last question, 2 part. Did it kind of occur to you just as a fun sort of amusing parallel that again it’s 2 males and a female classmate, and then the more serious part is just I heard you guys really did hit it off. I heard about octupus jam and certain other things, was that, can you enlighten us about that?
EW: Well, we, so, yeah, I mean… I have to defend, people have been like ‘She’s in another movie with two other guys, she’s always in trios.’
SF: But why is that a bad thing? That’s not a bad thing.
EW: I mean to be fair, I did ‘My Week with Marilyn’, nothing to do with trios. I just did the Bling Ring which is all about a group of girls. I’m doing Noah which is about a whole family. I did the End of the World, nothing to do with a trio. So, I’ve done maybe 4 or 5 other movies now, that don’t have a trio, but obviously Harry Potter is the one that really sticks out, so immediately people draw that comparison, but just like, what I would say is like ‘go and see this movie’. It’s nothing like Harry Potter. It could not be more different from Harry Potter. So, that makes me laugh a bit. I’m like ‘You’re in for a shock, if you think going into anything that has any resemblance… And then to answer your second question, yeah, we had an awesome time. We turned the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza into a like a hippy commune. I was deliriously exhausted by the end of this movie. I slept on average maybe like 4 hours a night because we just stayed up all night playing music and talking and just like, just having a good time really. So, we had a lot of fun.
SF: That was great.
EW: We had a lot of fun.
SF: Thank you very much for this. And congratulations, it was, I really enjoyed it.
EW: Good! Thank you.