May 16, 2013

Emma Watson at The Bling Ring press conference in Cannes [May 16, 2013]


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Did the actors do research about the characters before working on the film?

Emma: I had a lot of work to do, trying to get into character for Nicki and a lot of that came through... I watched a lot of the Kardashians, I watched a lot of Paris Hilton, I watched a lot of The Hills. And then really it was just trying to understand her psychology more than anything because it'd be very easy for Nicki to feel like a parody, kind of not real, and somehow I had to understand and empathize with her, and that was really my biggest challenge second to getting the accent down - it's quite a specific dialect so that took a bit of time - so just really thinking about what her parenting might have been like, what she might have brought up believing, and also thinking about LA as an environment and how that would have impacted her so I did a lot of research.

About the image reality TV shows show of Hollywood and about Cannes:
Emma: The impression I get from being in Cannes is that everyone here takes films so seriously in the most charming way. Everyone has very interesting questions and you can see that people just really love films so it's a really amazing environment to be in as someone who loves films.

About the image channeled to teenagers about Hollywood by reality TV shows:
Emma: I don't really what to say about LA and Hollywood. I think where there's a demand for a type of show or a type of image, if there's a demand for that, people will supply it. And I just think reality TV is just another way of telling a story, really. It's just a different type of acting, that's definitely different but, you know, that's what it is.

About why the teenagers didn't do much to protect their identities when stealing the houses:
Emma: It wasn't so much about the stealing, it wasn't so much about the high-style aspect, it was actually more about the fact that they wanted to pretend for two hours that they were Paris Hilton or that they were living that kind of lifestyle for real. I mean, sometimes they would just go to the house just to party, so I think in their heads it didn't have that filter in a way.

About working with a female director:

Emma: It's the second time I've worked with a female director and it was amazing. Sofia is someone who directs in a way that's very... she's very calm and it was amazing. [To Sofia] I mean, if you were ever stressed, I never knew, I never would have known. It was nice to work with someone really spontaneous as well and I could work in a way that was a little more loose than I was really used to. I'm used to really having to stick to my lines because people know them by heart pretty much. SO it was lovely just to be able to adlib or improvise and Sofia was just very supportive like that so it was really special.

About the UK becoming celebrity obsessed:

Emma: I don't really know if I have an opinion on that. I mean, I think suddenly London's sort of catching up with Hollywood almost. It's definitely on the rise. I think there are celebrities who create a brand and create a business, a whole job, a whole life out of other people's interests in their lives, and there are celebrities who... people who don't so much. Who have a craft and a trade I think as long as people understand the difference then it's okay. But yeah, there's definitely a difference.

About leaving Harry Potter behind:

Emma: Well, it's strange for me because Harry Potter feels like such a long time ago. So much has happened in the last 3 or 4 years, but obviously it's still very present. I feel that in people's minds, it's still being played in people's living rooms and things. I'm not trying to run away from it, I'm very proud of the work that I did, but it's just been so... I just had such an amazing 3 or 4 years just really re-enjoying having the chance to transform into new roles and work with new creative people so I'm very lucky.

About the delusion in the celebrity culture:

Emma: I think technology is playing a really big part in the sense that everything's sort of moving so much quicker and we're becoming saturated by images. What's really interesting about a still image is that you can caption it any way you like and so these images really capture the imagination of young people and to an extend they become to embody whatever they project onto that image. SO people really feel invested. They really feel connected to whatever that person, or whatever that world or story that paparazzi shot is telling. It very often has very little to do with the reality, but I was thinking it's interesting, if you look through OK magazine or any of these tabloids, they all start of looking like comic strips. It's a kind of narrative that our society, our culture just really become obsessed with. But it's just another way of telling a story.

About the presence of women in the industry currently after figures recently showed the number of speaking part for women in Hollywood dropped:

Emma: I'm young and from what I can see and from what little time I spent in this industry, I'm not sure why that number would have dropped. From what I'm seeing, young women are at the helm of most of the big franchises that are coming out, the new big Hollywood blockbusting pictures, and we're also sort of forging a new way in comedy. It was Bridesmaids that was the biggest comedy hit of last year and it's Lena Dunham who's writing the new comedy hits and Rebel Wilson is hosting the MTV Movie Awards. I don't know, from what I can see it's actually a great time to be a woman in this industry. I think we're doing great. I mean, there's still a way to go, I'm not pretending that it's totally perfect and there's perfect equality throughout the industry, but I think we're in a really great direction. I think it seems really positive.

About the difference between The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring, from romanticism to materialism:
Emma: It's amazing how self aware young people are becoming as a result of constantly posting images on Facebook or Instagram or whatever else. I think it's a shame that some of that kind of naivety, or kind of being blissfully unaware... I think that's definitely being shortened, that period of time when you're not self conscious. It's sped up, but it's just the way technology is taking things I guess.

About being disappointed or not by this generation:
Emma: I think it's an extraordinary set of circumstances. Other than the fact that it's set in LA, just speaking from my character's perspective, Nicki is home-schooled, her sister's her friend, I don't think she's really in touch with reality. I think there's a really dream-like feeling to what they were doing, almost nothing bad can... Nothing can really go wrong, it just doesn't feel real. So I think there's a certain extent to which, it didn't feel like it was really happening, they didn't really think it through.


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