With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 getting released in a few days, Warner Bros. held a big press junket this weekend in London and I got to fly across the pond to attend. While there I managed to talk with a lot of the cast, director David Yates, and the producers. You can expect a new Harry Potter interview to run everyday this week. And up first…Emma Watson.
During the intimate roundtable interview, Watson talked about literally everything: from how school is going (she’s at Brown), her new haircut and what her dad thought, what were her initial thoughts about Deathly Hallows being broken up into two movies, her new clothing line with Alberta Ferretti, what she took home from set, the reshoots she’s doing at Christmas, her next movie My Week With Marilyn, and so much more.
But I’ve left out the best part. We were allowed to use flip cams! So after the jump you can either read the transcript or watch the interview. What are you waiting for?
While I usually try and highlight certain parts of an interview, this one was so good it would be impossible to capture in bullet points. All I want to say is I was very impressed with how open and honest Emma Watson is and how willing she was to answer every question. We didn’t have a publicist standing and watching. She sat next to us ready for anything. Again, very impressed.
Like I said in the intro, you can either read the transcript or watch the interview in the player below. The only note is I had a few camera issues with this interview so I’ve combined two videos together. You’ll see the framing gets a lot better a few minutes in. Hope you enjoy this one and look for more Potter interviews everyday this week.
And one last thing…if you’ve read all the Potter books, you’ll going to love the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 because it’s the first film to try and bring the entire story to the screen.
Question: You made the front page of all the papers today, and you really rocked the red carpet last night
Did you get any stick from anyone about “don’t cut your hair?”
Emma: I kind of knew I would get stick, and that’s why I didn’t tell anyone I was gonna do it. I didn’t tell anyone I was gonna do it. I just went and had it done and just kind of waited for people’s reactions.
And you did it, I read, at a New York hair cutting place. Did you know the place ahead of time? Did you scout it out? Did you make a list of “where am I gonna cut my pony tail” and get my new look?
Emma: I took a couple pictures of Mia Farrow into the hairdresser and said “I wanna look like this. Make it happen.”
Did your dad really tell you, “you’re not Audrey Hepburn yet?”
Emma: Well the thing is, he was away when he first heard that I had it done and I got this phone call like, “Emma, why did you do this?” (laughs). Cause he hadn’t seen me in the flesh. And uh yeah he did. Actually I think it was when I first told him I was thinking about doing it, like a long time ago. I was like “Dad I wanna cut it all off, I wanna just have short hair and do something different for a bit” and he was like “Don’t get carried away, you’re not Audrey Hepburn yet.” But he loves it now, so he’s eating his words.
So is it a huge, kind of, relief to say goodbye to Hermione at this point now in your life and go on with school and whatever else you’re gonna do?
Emma: Well, I keep trying to but she keeps finding her way back into my life. I still have two movies left to promote, and they’re still cutting and editing Part 2 so I might have to do some more voice recording and other stuff for it, so it’s a very gradual goodbye. I’m being eased out of it gently.
Dan (Radcliffe) said that you guys might be reshooting the Epilogue at Leavesden because it was rushed or something.
Emma: Yeah, that was a stressful—we only had King’s Cross, I mean you can imagine we stopped trains literally so that we could do the scene.
It is Harry Potter.
Emma: I mean we are special, it is Harry Potter. But we only had two days—I was being sarcastic (laughs). Sorry, I have to like fill that in because otherwise it will be written, “we are special!” (laughs). But yeah we only had two days to shoot it and we needed so much more time than that. So yeah, we have reshoots at Christmas. So it’s not over. It’s not over yet guys!
How does it fit in with college?
Emma: Um, it doesn’t really (laughs). I’m not gonna lie, I kind of have to just work really hard when I’m there and earn my professors’ respect and trust that I’m hard-working and that I take it seriously and that I will come up with the goods somehow.
Are you an English major?
Emma: I’m gonna be a History major.
In what part of history?
Emma: I’m really interested in modern history, but to fulfill a History degree at Brown you have to do modern and pre-modern. I haven’t decided what I’m gonna really focus in on yet.
Are you enjoying that?
Emma: Yeah, I am really enjoying it. I love it, I love history.
At Brown, do other students ever ask you to help them with their English accents or anything? Because Americans are, I think, very impressed with English accents.
Emma: They never ask me to help, they just like, just at the very beginning they would pick up on everything I said. You know, I’d say “jumper” and they’d be like “jumper!” and I’d be like (reluctantly) “yes” (laughs). After a while they just got used to it. My best friend Madison keeps a list on her phone of all of the different English slang that I say, so she has kind of like a translator so she can understand without having to ask me, “What on Earth are you talking about when you say ‘nackered’?”
I understand that you’ve been in a couple of college productions. How was that?
Emma: It was really fun! I loved it. It was so nice to do something that was a little bit less pressurized than Harry Potter (laughs).
What plays did you do?
Emma: I did Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
That’s a difficult production
Emma: It was. I played Irinia. It was really difficult actually, I have no idea how we managed it, we didn’t even have that long of a rehearsal period. But somehow we pulled it off, we got good reviews.
Emma: I did. I went to two rounds of auditions.
Have you done another movie since Harry Potter?
Emma: I did, I just did a film called My Week with Marilyn
Emma: Yeah. I don’t play Marilyn though. Michelle Williams plays Marilyn. That woman has some serious—I don’t know she’s got guts to do that.
And you play her best friend?
Emma: No, I play um, the film is about Colin Clark who was a runner on one of her movies and they had this kind of thing. But at the beginning of the movie he falls for the wardrobe assistant—moi—and then he runs off with Marilyn and dumps me for a while and then he gets older and wiser and comes back and begs for forgiveness and I give him another chance.
Was it hard to say yes to the role or was it so easy?
Emma: So easy. I was coming back on the train from Paris having just done a photo shoot and I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was read a script. And my agent called me up and was like “please just read the script, you won’t regret it, please just read it.” I so didn’t want to, and the minute I opened it up I couldn’t put it down. And the part was small but really interesting and had like a really good character arc and was really well formed even though it had a few scenes. And I called her straight back and was like “yes alright you were right. I’m in I’m in I’m in.” So it was nice. Yeah I was offered the part so that was amazing.
You could do it with your Mia Farrow haircut?
Emma: I had to wear a wig. I was trying right up until the last second to persuade Simon Curtis (director) that I should have short hair but he said it was too sophisticated.
What’s going on with your fashion interests? That’s something that’s been a big part of your life offscreen, what are you doing in regards to fashion right now?
Emma: I just did a clothing line with Alberta Ferretti, which is really exciting. We are doing an organic clothing range.
What’s it called?
Oh come on, we won’t tell anyone just tell us
Emma: Ahh, I’m not sure about that (laughs). There will be more information about it soon. But yeah it was really hard—whenever I was in London she was in Milan, and we were crossing paths in New York and all over. But we email every week at the moment, and I’m really proud of what we put together. I’m so excited that it’s someone who is established and as big a designer as Alberta is really interested in—cause she wrote to me and said “I saw what you did with People Tree and I think it’s such a great idea and would you do something with me?” And I was like, “Yeah! Definitely.”
So when will the line come out?
Emma: I think just after Christmas. Like, soon.
Is it kind of classic wardrobe? Was there an inspiration for this line?
Emma: Jane Birkin was my inspiration for this collection. Very classic French. 60’s Jane Birkin.
You said it was organic, is that something, cause People Tree was organic, is that something that you’d like to champion?
Emma: Yes, I will put it out there—I will work for anyone for free if they’re prepared to make their clothing Fair Trade and organic. It’s really hard to get people interested in it. Like 1% of clothing in the UK at the moment is used making organic cotton, which is such a shame because it seems like environmental and ethical presence is really making its way into supermarkets and so many different areas of consumer’s, like—sorry I’ve lost my sentence. But for some reason with clothing people just don’t seem to question “who made this? Where is this from?”
Is that why you wore Vintage last night?
What was it that turned you on to it?
Emma: When I haven’t been working I’ve tried to travel a lot. And I had a very inspiring teacher, Mrs. Bedford, who taught me Geography A-level and I did my course work on the developing world and fair trade and like different practices in the garment industry and I found it really shocking. It’s amazing people get so detached from what they eat and what they wear. No one has any contact with how things are made that are put in their body and put in their mouths and I just find it alarming that no one questions it.
Having managed to penetrate such a high-end market, what would be your ambition with regards to that?
Emma: I would love to persuade Christopher Bailey, to get even just a section of Burburry that’s like organic or free trade. I love him, he’s a very good person and an amazing designer and I have a lot of respect and time for him. I just want to try and persuade as many people as I can really (laughs). But yeah it’s definitely something that I want to champion. More than anything I’m just trying to spread awareness, because it’s just not something that people really think about but it makes such a huge difference to people who are making its lives and the environment huge, epic.
Question about Potter
Emma: (laughs) Sorry
(laughs) No no, it’s cool. I’m just curious if maybe you had borrowed anything from set to keep, hypothetically speaking.
Emma: Oh okay, this is code (laughs). I asked for permission to take Hermione’s time-turner from the third movie, and the cloak, and my wand. So those are my three things that I took with me.
Now you mentioned that you might be going back for reshoots, in those reshoots hypothetically could you be thinking “maybe I want to take my adult clothing?”
Emma: Um, yeah um. Jany Temime, who’s the costume [designer], that’s her job I wouldn’t get involved like that (laughs).
I’ve been meaning to ask, because Hermione seemed to be the brightest always, if she was an influence on you, and you’ve just been talking about these other people who have influenced you, do you think Hermione has influenced how you view the world a little bit or is it just that you’ve influenced her?
Emma: I think it’s both. Like parts of my personality have slipped into Hermione and parts of her personality I’m sure have like unconsciously affected me. I’m sure. I’m positive.
How much of that is in the current movie? You’ve very much blossomed in this one.
Emma: Thank you. I think this Hermione is the closest Hermione to my own personality. Definitely.
Have you enjoyed that?
Emma: I’ve really enjoyed that. David (Yates, director) really wanted a really honest performance. It was really nice to play—I feel like earlier on I played a parody of myself or like a kind of a real character, she was kind of this big personality and she’s developed into something much more human and organic.
Can we talk about the big snog scene?
What was it like to shoot that and were you concerned at all about making it authentic?
Emma: I was really concerned about making it authentic, and so as a result Dan’s been telling everyone that I pounced on him, that I’m an animal (laughs). I was so worried about the kiss being as awkward as I felt going into the scene, I just wanted to make it as real as possible. It obviously had to be something that would disturb Ron and make him really jealous. So from Hermione’s end it had to be passionate. I sound like I’m defending myself (laughs).
Emma: We just shot it without Rupert there. We did it as like a separate thing on green screen.
But were you thinking “I’ve got to really turn this on because this has to make him crazy”
Emma: Yeah that was exactly what I was thinking. It had to be nasty, really nasty. The dialogue not the kiss (laugh). Just wanted to differentiate.
How is Ron and Hermione’s relationship almost getting there in this film?
Emma: Well obviously the fact that he gets jealous of Hermione and Harry, it becomes obvious that he has feelings for her. And when he comes back, Rupert’s performance is so brilliant, he plays it perfectly. It’s all written over Rupert’s face that he really loves her and he regrets terribly leaving her. Part 2 is where you really see it develop though.
When did you first hear that it was gonna be two movies and what was your reaction?
Emma: At first, I’ll be honest, at first I was like “oh my goodness” cause we were doing [film] 6 at the time, I was like “oh my God three more movies” I was just overwhelmed, I was like wow that is a lot. I was like, “is this a money spinner?” you know I was very cynical and dubious about it. I’ll be honest I was not immediately impressed. But, then I thought about it and I talked about it with David, the producers, and they said “Look, there’s no way we can fit everything into one movie. It’ll be too much. It won’t be a good movie, it won’t be true to the book. We’re not even sure we could call it ‘Deathly Hallows’ cause we don’t even know if we can fit that storyline in cause we’re trying to focus so much on getting the Horcruxes and killing them. We’d have to call it something different, it would just be crazy” and I was like “Oh, okay.” As soon as I saw the logic behind it I realized that it was absolutely the way we had to do it. So yeah, it made total sense and I was totally behind it. Certainly at first I had my reservations.
Emma: Especially Part 2. There were days when I was in tears to David (Yates, director). Cause more than anything being cold and wet all the time just takes so much energy out of you, it’s so draining. And trying to give a good performance when you just are miserable, and want to go to sleep. I was begging with him some days and he just said “It just looks so much better that you guys look so much more vulnerable and that it’s so much realer that you guys, you are heroes but at the same time you kind of just look like these…” and he’s right, it looks great on screen. We look like these bedraggled, kind of unlikely heroes. So it works, but God there were days where I just wanted to kill him (laughs).
So do you laugh when people tell you what a glamorous life you’ve had?
Emma: People who are close to me know, they so know that there were days when it was decidedly unglamorous. And I was so tired, I would fall asleep anywhere. They’ll never be released, but the onset photographer has pictures of me falling asleep everywhere. Like on chairs, on the floor, in the middle of a set, all curled up.
Like a cat.
What would you say is the most glamorous moment that you’ve experienced just in general?
Emma: Probably when Chanel flew me to Paris to try on premiere outfits (laughs). It was ridiculous. And I went around Coco Chanel’s apartment. I found that really overwhelming.
Does this film represent your swan song for acting? Is this it for you, do you plan to do more, where do you want to take your career after this?
Emma: I guess obviously I want to diversify a bit. I don’t wanna throw myself into another big blockbuster or another big franchise anytime soon. So smaller films, just small little interesting parts, I think I’d even like to play around with some really good supporting roles and then develop into—I don’t know just like feel my way into it a bit more. I don’t know, I’d love to try some theater. That’s my other thing. I’d love to do some Shakespeare.