Harry Potter was a big part of Emma Watson’s life growing up. But the young and ambitious actor initially found it harder than she imagined to adjust to life outside of the film series.
Emma Watson didn’t know herself after playing Hermione Granger for so long
Watson was just 9 years old when she was cast in the first Harry Potter movie The Sorcerer’s Stone. From there, she went on to portray scholarly assistant Hermione Granger for the entirety of the Harry Potter series. But playing the character with as much passion as Watson did sometimes at the expense of his own identity.
In a 2015 interview with To carry (via Yahoo), the actor shared how being Hermione affected and possibly stunted his own personal growth.
“[I’ve] spent more than half my life pretending to be someone else,” Watson said. “While my contemporaries were dyeing their hair and figuring out who they were, I was figuring out who Hermione was and how best to portray her. Now at 25, for the first time in my life, I feel like I have a image of myself that I am comfortable with.
Watson’s goal was to reconcile his public persona with his private persona so that there wasn’t much of a difference.
“I don’t want there to be a big separation between the public and the private. It is certainly the hardest road to travel, but undoubtedly the most rewarding in the end,” she added. “It sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, but I’m very interested in the truth, in finding ways to be messy and uncertain and flawed and amazing and awesome and my fullest self, all rolled into one.”
Emma Watson struggled to function in the real world after ‘Harry Potter’ ended
Watson was used to Harry Potter occupying huge chunks of his life and experiences one year at a time. So by the time the film series ended, Watson struggled to come to terms with an afterlife. Harry Potter. Sometimes it was even difficult.
“Do the Potters was such a bubble and then having to figure out how to operate in the real world was a challenge,” she once told The Independent.
That’s why Watson found successfully completing mundane tasks to be a huge accomplishment when trying to live a normal life.
“I know how to use a washing machine, I know how to cook. It’s worth it for me to not feel disconnected from it all, to feel like I’m in touch with people who do more than act or be in the entertainment industry,” said she added.
Watson’s lay friends have further helped the actress keep her cool while coping with parts of her celebrity lifestyle.
“I have school friends, a group of people around me, who have carried me through this whole experience and aren’t fazed if they ask, ‘Oh what are you doing tomorrow? ‘ and I say ‘I’m going up to see Mario [Testino] in Notting Hill, he shoots me for the new Lancôme campaign. I don’t know – it’s crazy, and some days I feel a little crazy, but it’s the balance that keeps me sane. I’m not living it fully, that side of my life,” she said.
Emma Watson was jealous of other actors who didn’t grow up on screen
Watson has many contemporaries in the industry of the same age with similar levels of fame. Actors like Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart know what it’s like to follow overwhelming attention wherever they go. But Watson differs from her other young fellow actors as she grew up in the spotlight as a child.
Meanwhile, stars like Lawrence and Stewart hit their mega-stardom in their late teens or early twenties. And it was something Watson admitted she envied from time to time.
“There are all these actresses that have emerged over the last two years, and they are emerging as this complete human being. And I’m so jealous,” she said in an interview with She (via Los Angeles Times).
Still, the actor took steps to make sure she didn’t have certain childhood experiences on the set of a movie.
“I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote,” she said. “She had her first kiss in character. On a film set. It really hit me. I don’t know how or why, but I had this feeling that if I wasn’t really careful, it could be me. : that my first kiss could be in someone else’s clothes, and my experiences could all belong to someone else.