June 27, 2016

Emma Watson: "Belle was one of my first tastes of feminism"





Emma Watson has insisted that she does not let ongoing press attention for being a ‘child star’ affect her career choices. The British actor will next be seen alongside Daniel Bruhl in The Colony, a gripping drama about a young woman who, in a desperate bid to find and rescue her abducted boyfriend, enters the notorious and inescapable Colonia Dignidad sect in Chile.

It didn’t take long after the first trailer was released before tabloid papers ran stories in response to scenes showing her kissing Bruhl. “It was all ‘Emma Watson! Scandalous! Really trying to push the envelope and step away from Hermione and Harry Potter!’ I’m just kissing someone, but it’s this huge deal,” she says. “I’m aware of it, but I don’t like to let the noise affect my choices because ultimately, living like that would close me off to a lot of opportunities and experiences. I’d never do anything.”

The Colony is set against the backdrop of the 1973 Chilean military coup and draws on stories from the real life Colonia Dignidad, led by child sex abuser Paul Schafer (Michael Nyqvist) and used as a torture centre under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Watson flew out to Chile to meet with members of the sect, now known as Villa Baviera. “It didn’t happen that long ago but so little is known about it. It’s crazy and definitely disturbing,” she says. “There was a strong, pervasive atmosphere. Even if I’d spoken to no-one, just being around the buildings and knowing what the functions of the rooms were was a pretty intense experience.”

Watson was drawn to the lead role of Lena after finding her relatable and her bravery compelling. “She’s an air hostess, an everyday woman,” she says, explaining that it was the women in her life who inspired her while filming for the part. “I drew on the women I’ve met personally in my life, in whom I’ve seen her kind of resolve and strength, a belief in themselves and what they’re doing which allows them to do extraordinary things.”

The Colony features plenty of nail-biting moments, with some of the most harrowing involving violence against women, an issue close to Watson’s heart in her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. “I think it’s one in four women who will experience a form of violence in their lifetime,” she says. “It’s not talked about enough how pervasive it is. It’s become the norm that women feel afraid walking alone, whether that’s at night or whenever. I think it’s sad that we live in a society where women don’t feel safe.”

Next year will see Watson take the lead role as Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. She knew all the words to the songs as a child and now gets to fulfil every girl’s dream in a surefire box office smash, judging by the recent success of Cinderella and The Jungle Book. “I loved that she was this feisty heroine whose whole life wasn’t about marrying the most handsome guy in the village,” Watson says of her character. “Belle wants to read, she wants to go on adventures and be her own woman, her own person. She was one of my first tastes of feminism, so it’s pretty cool to play her now.”

15 comments:

Ross Taggart said...

Interesting interview, can't believe the press still harp on about HP. Emma is in the tradition of great UK actors why not see her that way. Her choice of parts is thoughtful and relevant touching on sensitive adult issues.

She mentions Violence against women a problem often ignored in the "damsel in distress" model favoured by many modern films and TV shows, do they promote this increase in VAW seen in recent years?

She never stops trying no matter what see does hard working an under valued trait these days.

Anonymous said...

Seeing this I can only think "Please tell me you were one of the sensible people who won a victory for democracy." Because if she wasn't, then everything she said in this interview isn't worth shit.

Anonymous said...

With regards to gender equality, I mean.

Anonymous said...

Where is Emma? she is trying to be as low profile, Why?

Anonymous said...

Was Ross hired for PR? He is really singing Emma's song, even if the lyrics are wrong. I can live with the fact that Emma has her faults and is inconsistant in what she does- gender equality for women in Hollywood already making millions.
You don't have to believe what Ross says; I tend to skip him now.

Anonymous said...

About her keeping a low profile, most likely she realizes that people do not see her the way she wants to be seen. Even the UN is quiet in terms of HeforShe and Emma. Anne Hathaway is the new bounce. I think Emma ruined it with all those feminists. Even women who might lean toward a feminist view find many or a few of them as extreme and outdated.

Eden said...

To the Anon whose comment I had to delete, I understand the annoyance, but like another Anon said, just skip his comments if you can't with him anymore.

Ross Taggart said...

Eden aren't you suppose to be impartial and remove rude comments try re-reading you last entry if someone else wrote what would you think or shall I just skip your postings.

Have you read there output it just like mine but anit-Emma why does supporting someone annoy you and being mean to them not.

Sorry if I am boring you I like the lady and don't think any Woman should be casually insulted.






Eden said...

I said "I understand the annoyance", not "I understand the annoyance towards Ross". There are sometimes people you can't stand, like that Anon with you, and it's fine, it's normal. And I think it's better to ignore someone you can't stand if the only way you have to deal with them is to be rude to them. And if someone finds me annoying, it's perfectly fine by me. I'd actually understand.
Also, if someone says negative stuff about Emma, that doesn't necessarily mean they're "anti".

Ross Taggart said...

I disagree you are talking in generalities Eden. They are making specific accusation and belittle someones efforts. Pick one and read it an Imagine it is pointed at you how would you feel.

I don't believe the Anno cares about me either way he/she just wants to insult (and they are insults) Emma for some reason and I get in the way of that.

"says negative stuff about Emma" is a good definition of "anti" Nothing in the tone or content suggest anything else. And why are you justifying there position on this anyway. You have never support mine.

Which is fine if you don't like me that is your prerogative but read what we both write and how we write it that is all I ask.

Eden said...

Anti means hating on someone. They're not hating on Emma just because they don't like the way she does certain things.

This blog was made so people could talk freely (though not too freely, because, once again, I won't accept insults) about Emma, whether it was to say stuff they liked OR disliked about what she did or said. And I won't support you when you jump at anyone's throat when they dare say something remotely negative about Emma. YES, there are some negative comments that I find ignorant, like when people act as if we knew everything that's going on in Emma's life (seriously, people, you got to stop thinking that if we don't hear about Emma working on something that means she's not working on anything), but I'm not going to start deleting comments just because I find them stupid.

And once again, if anything those Anons write was directed to me, I would be fine with it, that is why those comments are not deleted. I've been sent stuff much worse and yet these are not deleted either.

Ross Taggart said...

Fine that's fair. It just seems there is so much of it now it is easier to criticizes than to support. You may know people who the comments would not be fine with how do we know Emma is not one of them.

In any case I would not ask you to delete there comments or to support me if you don't agree, I would not ask that of anyone and I shall try to be more circumspect.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Anonymous said...

I love the interview and how she candidly addressed about how the press tends to focus on her current roles as opposed to her character of Hermione from 2000-2011. It is like they are in a time bottle. Emma has truly grown and evolved as an actress. I recently read ALL and I mean ALL her 2007-2009 interviews. Some were positively cringe-worthy...
I did not notice it then. I do now. I am sure she feels it.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree that talking about her new roles is great. Hermoine was a wonderful character and we all enjoyed her, but Emma is no longer 9 to 17; she is 26 years old.

Ross Taggart said...

I have seen her grow and her roles progress the press seem obsessed with her past but then it is strange how they treat celebrities; mention every actors age not matter what the piece is about they don't do that with politicians for example, odd.