Very few actors get the chance to shine early on with their first film. Emma Watson is one such performer.
Playing the role of Hermione Granger in the hugely successful Harry Potter films, Watson has become one of the most critically-praised child actors of her generation.
Now the 19 year-old returns in the latest film in the series Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Emma shared with us how pleased she was about Hermoine's character arc in this film.
"I think in the film you see quite a strong Hermione, quite a girl power Hermione,"Â Watson believes, " She’s the brains behind the operation, kind of driving the guys around with her. But in this one I think that you see a very different Hermione. She’s much more fragile and vulnerable and emotional and she’s experiencing her first heartache really."Â
"I think she’s very confused about how she feels about Ron and how upset she is when he kisses someone else,"Â she continues, "So it was a challenge for me to play this much more emotional and vulnerable person. It was also fun to do a lot more comedy with Rupert [Grint]. That was great. I had a lot of fun doing this one and I learned a lot."Â
One thing Watson says she enjoyed most about The Half-Blood Prince was a departure from the darker tone of the more recent films in the series.
"I think it was a nice break,"Â she says, "I think if Hermione kept going at the rate she was going in terms of the amounts of worrying she was doing she might’ve developed a hemorrhage. So it’s nice that she had just a bit of light relief for all of us. The kids books are pretty dark."Â
"They can be pretty heavy and pretty serious,"Â Emma continues, "Having some more of that I think actually heightened the pathos at the end where Dumbledore died. By having some of the lighter stuff it was really shocking. It
While the humor helps to balance out the story, Emma still notes that Hermione's ever-evolving persona is one that helps add to the film's realism, particularly the emotional tension between her character and Ron.
"I think that particularly with Hermione she’s such a control freak,"Â she believes, "She wants to control everything about her life. Her destiny, her work, everything. Suddenly she just falls apart in this one. She’s just a wreck because she can’t control the way that she feels."Â
"I think in her head, if she could’ve chosen who to fall in love with it certainly wouldn’t have been Ron, in the nicest possible way,"Â she continues, "She would’ve chased someone much more serious and much smarter and much more suited to her. You can’t help who you fall in love with.
Emma commented on a rumor leaked out that there was a scene in the film of the two characters kissing.
"I think there might’ve been a small understanding,"Â Watson explains, "The kissing scene that they have is in the seventh film. So it wasn’t that we did it and it was shit and didn’t make it. [laughs] Well, we’ll see. We may have to edit for the last one yet, but we did that scene about two weeks ago.
"David [Yates] didn’t really let us watch playback,"Â she adds, "Rupert and I were concerned that it might look ingenuous as we were desperate to get it out of the way. But, no, I think that Rupert and I felt the pressure of this kiss. There’s so much media interest and also the fans, this is like ten years worth of tension and hormones and chemistry and everything in like one moment and we had to ace it. It was like, ‘Oh, God.’ Hopefully we did it. I’m sure you’ll critique it. Please, be nice. "
The film is David Yates's second consecutive Harry Potter
"David is great in the sense that he won’t let you do anything other than the very best that you can produce. Sometimes that means being quite a hard task master,"Â she reveals, "I think that David can tell whether I’m acting or not by looking at my back, genuinely. He’s that scary. He just knows when you’re really there and in the moment and trying and when you’re not. A year ago he would say things to me, like, ‘That was really great. A very good performance, but you’re acting.’
"He won’t settle for anything less than a truthful, honest performance that comes from somewhere that’s really genuine for you,"Â Emma adds, "I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s very generous with his time. If you want to talk something over he’s more than willing to help you. He’s very patient. He’s like a kid in the candy store. He’s just super excited by everything and to be doing what he’s doing. Alfonso [Cuaron] and Mike [Newell] and Chris [Columbus] all look like they aged about ten years after one. But he just loves every second of it and there’s just no ego with David. There’s nothing."Â
As Hermione has blossomed from a pre-adolescent to a woman in the Harry Potter movies, so has Emma doing them. It's probably why she feels more comfortable watching her work in the earlier films versus the more recent ones.
"Really I find it easier to watch the earlier films which might surprise you where I had the whole bushy hair and chipmunk face thing going on,"Â she reveals, "It wasn’t a great look for me. But actually I find that easier to watch because I can completely disconnect
"It feels like such a long time ago and I don’t really identify myself with that girl whereas if it’s one from one or two years ago, it’s a little bit close but I’m a couple of years younger,"Â Watson continues, "I find that much, much harder to watch. It’s not a very nice experience. I think a lot of actors and actresses don’t watch their work."Â
Watson is about to reach the end of the journey of Harry Potter with the final films in the franchise, the two-part Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. However, her excitement to complete the franchise stems more from her pure enjoyment of the stories rather than a desire to move on.
"To be honest, I’m such a geeky ‘Harry Potter’ fan,"Â Emma confesses, "Genuinely, I know the books inside and out and have read each of them at least three times and could probably answer any question you come up with and any plot detail you might care to ask, and so when I read the books I just read from the perspective of someone who’s dying to know what happens generally before I even think about Hermione. I’m just not thinking of it like that. I’m just desperate to get to the end of it and am very excited to read it. That kind of comes second for me."Â
She also already expresses her excitement to us for what we are to expect from the final two films.
"It’s not very often that in the middle of filmmaking you stop and go, ‘This is going to be awesome.’ I’ve done that on a number of occasions."Â Watson says, "We’ve just done this amazing scene in the forest where I’m being chased by the snatchers. I’ve never done anything like it, nothing even close. I’ve never done any serious stunts or any real action. It’s so exciting and just really dynamic."Â
"I think because all of us are finished with school
Watson also says that despite the fact she's clear about her desire to continue acting after her long tenure on the Harry Potter films finally reaches its end, she still is intent on having as normal life as possible despite her busy schedule, which includes continuing her education.
"I’m going to university, but that doesn’t mean that I’m giving up acting or anything dramatic like that,"Â she states, "I feel like I do want to continue, definitely. I just want a normal experience for a bit. Just a little bit of normalcy for a while. I’m a little bit nervous. I figure if I’m going to do this experience I’m going to do it properly and I’m going to do it like everyone else. If I want to be treated like everyone else I have to do it like everyone else. Yeah, clean. Cleanliness is good. Gosh. I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll be reasonably okay to live with. You should really ask this question to my family. I will be fine. I will be happy. We’ll see."Â
"I think the media found it confusing that I wanted to go to university and sort of don’t really understand why I’m doing it,"Â Emma continues, "So I think they sort of jumped to that conclusion. I don’t know. I’m very excited. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve managed to juggle and balance studying and working well enough up to this
Emma sums up with her belief that no matter what the rest of her life and career as an actor brings her, she is confident in the fact that the book and film series of Harry Potter will live on for generations to come, as well as her place in it.
"I think we all feel as if Harry Potter is never really going to die,"Â Watson believes, "I think it’s so big and so loved. We have a theme park coming out in 2010 and I think that kids are going to keep reading the books and new generations of the kids are going to keep watching the films and I don’t really ever feel like it’s going to really go away. I think it’s got longevity."Â