In the cover story for Vanity Fair, Emma Watson discusses growing up in the limelight with the associated highlights and perils (paparazzi, stalkers), reading (her refuge, and inspiration), and finally feeling like she has “made that transition into being a woman” while filming Beauty and the Beast.
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Emma Watson covers a special double issue of Entertainment Weekly. In the cover story Emma talks about how she wanted to update the backstory of Belle, her character in her upcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. The issue is on sale now. Images from the photoshoot, and some new stills from the film have been released by EW and can be seen below.
Beauty and the Beast opens March 17.
Emma Watson is Elle UK’s 2017 Woman of the Year and will cover the March issue of the magazine. Emma talks about being cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, activism and her book club.
Belle, the perfect role. ‘For me, Beauty was the perfect, most joyful thing to do… There was something connected about Hermione and Belle, and it was good to be reminded that I am an actress; this is what I do. The film is pure escapism.’
Why she took a year off from acting to concentrate on activism. ‘It wasn’t about me necessarily proving anything… I was just thinking that I have this year to myself, so let’s see what we can do to ‘move the needle’ and make a difference.’
How does she handle critics? ‘It really toughened me up…There is a level of criticism that comes with being an actress and a public figure, which I expect, but once you take a stance on something like feminism, that’s a completely different ball game.’
She set up her book club, Our Shared Shelf, to focus on feminist issues. Will she write her own book? ‘I need to see and do a bit more first… I’m no expert, and when people push me into a corner of “here’s Emma Watson to lecture you on feminism”, it’s uncomfortable because I am aware I have a long way to go. I am not sure I deserve all the respect I get yet, but I’m working on it.’
Emma will be awarded Woman of the Year at the Elle Style Awards, 13 February, and the March issue of Elle is on sale the 14th.
Some excerpts and photos from Emma Watson’s feature in Porter magazine are out thanks to Evening Standard.
About feeling comfortable with herself
“[I’ve] spent more than half of my life pretending to be someone else. While my contemporaries were dying their hair and figuring out who they were, I was figuring out who Hermione was and how best to portray her.”
“Now at 25 for the first time in my life I feel like I have a sense of self that I’m comfortable with. I actually do have things that I want to say and I want to be my most authentic self.”
“I don’t want there to be a big separation between the public and the private person. It’s definitely the harder road to tread, but without a doubt, ultimately the most rewarding.”
“It sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, but I’m very interested in truth, in finding ways to be messy and unsure and flawed and incredible and great and my fullest self, all wrapped into one. When you watch the work of someone like actress Emma Thompson, you feel like you’re seeing something true, and I aspire to that.”
Her changing views on style
“When I was younger I remember being told ‘no pain no gain’, but recently my willingness to wear something that makes me freezing cold or that I can’t walk in has changed.”
“I want to feel fabulous and comfortable and sexy and strong and beautiful. And if it’s making you uncomfortable, don’t do it. It’s so sad if you need to go home just because you need to sit down! Moving forward, I’m prioritizing just feeling awesome.”
About using the word “feminism” in the HeForShe campaign
“I was encouraged not to use the word ‘feminism’ because people felt that it was alienating and separating and the whole idea of the speech was to include as many people as possible.”
“But I thought long and hard and ultimately felt that it was just the right thing to do. If women are terrified to use the word, how on earth are men supposed to start using it?”
And how fashion and gender equality are not mutually exclusive
“I think using fashion as a means of expression is brilliant.”
“One of the ways I became a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador was through my interest in fair-trade fashion. Because so many women design and make the clothes we wear, it’s primarily the working conditions of women that are affected by the decisions we make, so fashion is a feminist issue.”