Interview translation added.
Available in newsstands on September 25. There will be a new interview.
Translated by EmWatsonSP. Credit her if you use it.
Interview with Alejandro Amenabar:
Emma, fears and priests
The leading actress, Emma Watson, arrived by her own to the project: "We had not begun the casting process when we received the call from one of his agents to tell us that they knew we were making a script in which there was character of a young girl and they would like to read it. And we send it to them, and 24 hours later I was meeting her. It was all very fast. She was someone that I didn’t have on my mind at first. Perhaps I would have opted for an American actress, maybe younger, but she felt it was a role she wanted to do and we went for it."
Interview with Emma:
Twinkles of a normal star.
She seems hesitant in her answers, but she has her ideas clear. When answering, she gains time with a nervous laugh while she stares at you. Emma Watson is intelligent (it shows in her eyes, you can tell by her gestures) that’s why she takes advantage of being an actress. A super famous actress. That’s why she is the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador and helps various ONG’s. And also, that’s why she designed her career well, her tempo, beginning with interesting supporting roles and indie films at the first phase and now, in her brand new second phase, she’s starting to play lead roles on big films. Her work on Regression with Alejandro Amenábar could be considered the turning point between these two well-deigned phases. It’s a supporting, but with a lot of weight and not very sympathetic role, which she deliver with grade. We talk about this film and about her. About being an actress, about not belonging to Hollywood… and no, we didn’t talked about the boy wizard’s saga. Not a single question. Well, ok, just one.
When you made your first role, of Hermione Granger, you were 11 years-old. ¿Did you know at that age that you wanted to be an actress?
Emma: And way before. At school I already knew it, that’s why my parents enrolled me at a school where I could do a lot of theatre. It has taken me many years to make up my mind. It wasn’t until I went to college, studied and graduated in 2014, that I had clear that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be sure.
And are you sure?
Emma: (laughs) I am sure.
Choosing one role or another must not be easy. Do they teach that at college, how to choose?
Emma: No way! But they should. It’s one of the most stressful times of this job. To film a film is a huge commitment. Because of how much it costs, the people that work on it, your career. To make a project into a reality it’s like a lunar eclipse. Is to get the stars to align. It is like a little miracle. But I follow my instincts.
An instinct that has led you to work with Amenábar…
Emma: When I have to choose a role, what I value most is the script and the director. I knew that I could trust Alejandro. And I wasn’t wrong. He has everything clear.
What kind of director is he?
Emma: The kind that listen to the actors and build along with you. He constantly wanted to know my point of view. The one who has to bring to life and make breathe a character it’s you. When you are given too much guidelines, you could end up not believing in the character. Alongside him, Ethan Hawke and I changed some parts of the dialogue and redefined some scenes.
Since the Harry Potter saga ended in 2011, you've been very selective. Five roles (My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, This is the End, Noah) in four years, and all of them supporting. Aren't you offered leading roles or it is that you are very selective?
Emma: I was in college, I didn’t have much time. On the other hand, I’m always searching for roles that suit me, and hitherto I always saw myself in those supporting roles. I'm in a moment of exploration, to try, to experience new things. I’m testing myself, I’m learning. Oddly enough, I needed to gain confidence in myself. I am now making the transition more important roles, leading roles, with more character, like in The Circle, with Tom Hanks and Colonia with Daniel Brühl. The responsibility it’s going to be huge. Other skills are needed, but I’m ready.
Do you go to auditions?
Emma: With Regression I hadn’t to. Alejandro saw that I could play the role and I didn’t have to go through more tests. But I usually go to auditions. And I think it’s good. If you get the role, you know you’ve earned it. You know you’re the only one that could do it, and that gives you a lot of confidence. With Noah (Darren Aronosfsky, 2013) I auditioned. And I had to pass singing tests for the new film I just filmed, Beauty and The Beast (directed by Bill Condon, with Dan Stevens and Ewan McGregor).
Didn’t you do singing lessons at school?
Emma: Yes, but it’s been a long ago since the last time I practiced. Singing it’s very scary, intimidating. It makes you feel very vulnerable. But I passed the test, and I’ve enjoyed it very much.
It seems like I’m talking with an inexperienced actress, but you are a very famous, admired and recognized woman. Success gives you confidence or it makes you feel vulnerable?
Emma: I try to define myself based on what I am, and not on what people think of me. I always try to think that I’m giving the best of me, even though I know I’m not always going to achieve it. At the end of the day I like to look myself in the mirror and to feel good with myself, knowing that I tried. I try not to give much importance to external inputs.
We deduce that being an actress helps you to understand yourself as a human being.
Emma: I learn a lot from my job. Thanks to it I’m an open minded person.
An open minded and worldwide known person. How is it like to be famous?
Emma: (giggles) I’m sure it’s exactly like you imagine it, sometimes less glamorous than what people picture it.
I don’t see the glamorous side of it, I think it can be tough…
Emma: Mmmm… Interesting. Like everything in life it has its good and complex things.
Did it help you being famous to create your character for Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola, 2012)?
Emma: No, but it gave me an interesting perception of fame. I realized that I needed to forget that daily feeling and see it from a different perspective.
That new perspective has something to do with being the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador, cooperate with environmental ONG’s (People Tree, Global Green) or that helps Africa like CAMFED…? ¿It is your way to turn the tables of the complexities of being so popular?
Emma: Maybe that’s my biggest role. I take advantage of the attention that I generate to put the focus on things that are not me, more important things. There’s nothing super exciting in me. There are many other interesting things that happen beyond me.
How helping other help you?
Emma: It helps me to use my other side of the brain. One side is creative, the other is more rational. I like the balance the two of them. They work well.
Have you ever thought about dedicating yourself to politics?
Emma: I love to work on different parts of the world. If there was a very specific topic to fight for, maybe I would involve myself, but as I'm doing now with the UN. Politics it’s not on my plans.
Way beyond Harry Potter
They say you are very intelligent. Is that something intimidating or flattering?
Emma: (laughs) Flattering! Even though I say stupid things from time to time.
Great speech the one you wrote and defended at the UN for the HeForShe campaign.
Emma: Thank you. Being part of the UN is a great honour, and the HeForShe campaign much need for gender equality.
Have you ever thought about writing your own script with the perfect role for you?
Emma: I’m good at nonfiction writing, but not that much at creative writing.
You could direct a documentaries…
Emma: Good idea, but I don’t have time. Between my work as an actress and my work at the UN, I can’t handle more.
Or produce. It is true that you are going to work again with David Hayman (the producer of Harry Potter) in the adaptation of Erika Johansen’s novel The Queen of the Tearling?
Emma: It’s a great project, focused in a dystopian world after a major environmental disaster. There’s a long way for that to happen, but whether I do it or not, what I can assure you is that David and I will produce something in the future.
And what about working again with Stephen Chbosky, the director of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), a film, by the way, of worship, a generational film?
Emma: Definitely yes. He is a great guy, and very intelligent. He is a friend. His book and the script of The Perks of Being a Wallflower touched me. It told something very close to my own experience. Although my life was very different, I identified myself with the feelings, the tribulations of that age, with its truth.
By your small but very funny role in This is the End (Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, 2013) it looks like you get along with other celebrities. Do you go out with other celebrities, whether they are from Hollywood or not?
Emma: Most of my friends are friends I met at college. I usually don’t go to the places that celebrities go.
Do you know Eddie Redmayne further more than having worked with him in My Week with Marilyn (Simon Curtis)? Have you talked with him about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new film with an original script by JK Rowling, directed by David Yates and where Redmayne has a leading role?
Emma: I Know Eddie, yes. He asked me some questions, but we didn’t go deeper. It’s going to be a very different project, and I’m sure that it will be amazing.
Didn’t you both speak at length? You are one of the most skilled person on Harry Potter, even though you must be tired of talking about this saga and its magical universes…
Emma: No (without laughing or smiling).