Emma Watson: ‘It’s all coming to an end’

Harry Potter is taking his swan song with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and thus, Emma Watson is waxing poetic about the series coming to a close. We caught up with the star who plays Hermione at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to discover her future plans (she is heading back to school) and how she has handled being one of the most recognizable faces in the world.

Emma Watson has played Hermione since she was nine years old and now, as a fully grown woman, she is kissing the character goodbye as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is released July 15.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson

Watson was wistful about her last moments as Hermione, but told us that she had the time of her life making her first big non-Harry Potter film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Emma Watson waves goodbye

SheKnows: When did you realize that you were one of the most recognizable faces in the world?

Emma Watson: It was when I was in a shantytown in Bangladesh and a boy stopped me in the street and said, “You’re in Harry Potter.” There’s nowhere in the world that I can go, it feels, that isn’t somehow touched by this. It reaches the furthest corners of the earth and in the least expected places. I was like, “Wow. It’s really popular.”

SheKnows: How did you so successfully handle the fame that came with it?

Emma Watson: Having accepted it, once I sort of came to terms with it, I feel fortunate in that I’ve never really known what it’s like to have total freedom. It’s not as though I had it and then all of a sudden it got taken away from me. It’s sort of something that I grew up with. I haven’t really known anything else.

Emma WatsonSheKnows: Do you share any personality traits with Hermione?

Emma Watson: I guess earnestness — eager to please and do the right thing. I’m terrified of getting into trouble. I’m very heady in the same way she is, kind of constantly thinking three or four moves ahead. I try and intellectualize a lot, which she does well, obviously. She’s very determined. I am as well. I like to think that I’m very loyal in the same way she is, a bit of a feminist in the same way as she is and I will speak my mind in the same way that she does. It’s hard to say, really. I feel so much of me went into her and so much of her went into me that I can’t really differentiate between the two too much anymore [laughs].

SheKnows: Now, the final scene that is 19 years in the future — did you give much thought to what Hermione has been doing?

Emma Watson: Yeah. I think it’s so interesting that you brought that up. Gosh, it’s so hard and interesting. I think for my mom, she’s the first generation of women that felt they really could go out and work. My mom worked when I was growing up. I feel like for my generation we not only have the choice to work or to stay at home, which is amazing, that we do have so much choice. I think I absolutely see Hermione working and trying to juggle a couple of kids. She has such a wonderful mind. She’s so caring about the world and so desperate to set things right.

Hermione: The ending

SheKnows: What was your last scene filming as Hermione and what were your emotions at that time?

Emma Watson: The last shot we did was kind of a strange moment where we dive into the fireplace into the Ministry of Magic. It’s actually in part one, not part two. And so Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and I, one by one, jumped onto these safety mats, basically. That was the shot. That was it, and it seemed kind of like a strange one to go out on [laughs]. Actually David [director Yates] made the point that we were leaping into the unknown. It was kind of a perfect metaphor for what we were all about to go into.

SheKnows: Were there any other last moments that stand out for you — like the last scene in Hogwarts?

Emma Watson: It’s so funny, in a way this one was incredibly challenging for me. It really pushed me as an actress, but at the same time I was able to use a lot of my own genuine emotion that I felt about loss and all of it coming to an end. An example of that is the scene where we stand on the bridge after the battle and before we flash forward. I remember just really feeling exactly how Hermione would be feeling — sort of like, “Wow. It’s all coming to an end.” The set was actually built looking out over Leavesden Studios, which is where I grew up, essentially. I spent the last 12 years there. So, yeah, not much acting required really. It all just came naturally.

Rupert Grint and Emma Watson

SheKnows: Daniel Radcliffe is succeeding on Broadway, would you ever do a musical like he is with How to Succeed in Business?

Emma Watson: Yes! Dan is so ballsy. Amazing. I would love to do something on Broadway. I think I need to pluck up some more courage [laughs], but I love to sing.

Going back to school?

SheKnows: Now that it is all over, do you have a favorite moment from the series, and what’s next for you?

Emma Watson: Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 really stand apart from all the rest for me. The quality is amazing and the role is so in depth. It is much darker and they really gave me a chance to stretch myself as an actress. The first however many years, I didn’t actually feel as though I was doing much acting at all. What’s next for me? I’m going to travel this summer. I mean, it’s obviously scary. Change is always scary. But I feel very excited and I feel like I’m entering a new chapter and getting a fresh start. There’s something really exciting about that. I’m going back to school in the fall. I’ve got two years left. I just finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was just the most incredible experience. I had the best six weeks. I’m very excited about that movie. Having an experience like that outside of Harry Potter is what really convinced me that acting really is what I should be doing. I’m excited about the idea of being an actress now in a way that I wasn’t so sure of before.

Emma Watson is Hermione

SheKnows: You mentioned that you’re going to travel and then go back to school. Which school are you going to?

Emma Watson: I’m going to Oxford. Just to explain, I haven’t left Brown. I’m still enrolled at Brown, but I’m doing my third year abroad. So, I’ll go back to the states to do my last year.

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