'Harry Potter's' Emma Watson Reveals the Perks, Drawbacks of Starring in All Eight Movies

Emma Watson at the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" in London last week.
Emma Watson at the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" in London last week.
 Dave Hogan/Getty Images

After playing Hermione Granger in all eight Harry Potter films, Emma Watson says there are things she appreciates -- and others she doesn't -- about being able to star in the franchise.

For starters, the actress says 10 years of being in front of the camera has given her more education in acting than any school could.

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"Watching the new film I feel I've really learned something in these 10 years," she told the U.K.'s Daily Mirror. "For the first time I really felt like an actress and I have an idea of what I can be as an actress. And that is very exciting."

Watson had actually never even acted before landing the part of Hermione at age 11.

"I've worked with animals, special effects, I've done some serious stunts and I've worked with some of the best actors and actresses in the world," she said. "I couldn't have had better training. I feel I've graduated from the most difficult, hard-core film school of all time and I can't believe how lucky I've been. Now I'm ambitious to use what I've learned to do good work."

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At the same time, she admits it was hard growing up under the control of the filmmakers and others overseeing the movie.

"Not a single second of the day was in my power," she said. "I was told what time I'd get picked up, what time I could eat and when I could go to the bathroom."

And, she added, "I have spent more of my life being someone else than I have being myself."

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Watson also admitted that it's hard watching herself in the first few movies.

"I look back at the early films and see that little girl -- and I know it's me but it seems like a different person," she said. "It's embarrassing to see myself go through the awkward stages of growing up -- my hair was just enormous! So much time has passed and so much has happened that it seems I don't know her. But it's interesting to see how the character has evolved and how much I have changed."

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Watson spent two years at Brown University before leaving to focus on the final Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opens Friday. She plans to return to her studies at Oxford in the fall.

"I was commuting back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K. trying to fulfill my commitment to this enormous Harry Potter franchise and it just wasn't feasible," she said. "I'm only human. I wasn't getting the best out of either my studies or the filming, so I decided to give a proper goodbye to 10 years of work and resume my studies later."

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Next up, Watson appears in My Week With Marilyn, opposite Michelle Williams and Kenneth Brannagh, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a coming-of-age film.

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