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Emma Watson is opening up about why she stepped away from acting.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Watson reflected on why she hasn’t made a movie since Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which finished shooting at the end of 2018.
“I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest, I think I felt a bit caged,” she said.
“The thing I found really hard was that I had to go out and sell something that I really didn’t have very much control over. To stand in front of a film and have every journalist be able to say, ‘How does this align with your viewpoint?’ It was very difficult to have to be the face and the spokesperson for things where I didn’t get to be involved in the process,” she explained.
Watson continued, “I was held accountable in a way that I began to find really frustrating, because I didn’t have a voice, I didn’t have a say. And I started to realize that I only wanted to stand in front of things where if someone was going to give me flak about it, I could say, in a way that didn’t make me hate myself, ‘Yes, I screwed up, it was my decision, I should have done better.'”
Following the end of the Harry Potter film franchise, Watson went on to star in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, Beauty and the Beast, The Circle and Little Women, with that last film racking up six Oscar nominations.
During her break from acting, Watson ventured into writing and directing. Last winter, she wrote and directed an advertising campaign for Prada. “People always told me I should direct and produce, even when I was on Potter,” she said. “I was worried it was just technical, not creative and I couldn’t bring what I think is probably my skill set. … Being a director seemed unattainable. I don’t think I had any confidence in that. I know it seems weird. I mean, I grew up on a film set.”
Watson also teased that she’s been asked to direct a music video, though she wouldn’t reveal whose music video it is other than hinting, “you will definitely have heard of him.”
Despite not acting for nearly five years, Watson didn’t rule out a return to the screen. “Yes, absolutely. But I’m happy to sit and wait for the next right thing. I love what I do. It’s finding a way to do it where I don’t have to fracture myself into different faces and people. And I just don’t want to switch into robot mode anymore. Does that make sense?”
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