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Emma Watson was a complete unknown when she appeared on screen in the first Harry Potter film, but now she's one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Watson has spoken about how the change and status have made her personal life difficult, but it's also had a major impact on her professionally. Mainly, because now she no longer has the benefit of being an oblivious kid. According to the actress...
When I was auditioning to play Hermione, I had this fearlessness, because I wasn't aware of anyone else. I just knew I loved that girl and I loved that role and I loved that world, and I went for it. But now I have this other thing to overcome, like in Beauty and the Beast I sang for the first time, and journalists would ask me, 'Do you think you're going to be able to pull it off?' There's an incredible awareness that I have to push through. The night before I gave my speech at the U.N., I was an emotional wreck. I thought I was going to hyperventilate.
It seems that when Emma Watson first went out for the role of Hermione she never bothered to ask herself whether or not she was capable of doing the job. She was jumping in with both feet into a film franchise that was clearly going to change her life in some way, though apparently, she didn't have the "awareness" of that at the time. She had the self-assurance that comes with being young and believing that you can do anything, combined with the fact that you simply can't consider consequences that far reaching at that age. However, now the actress gets asked whether or not she thinks she can do things, like carry a musical, which forces her to confront the same question.
Much of this shift that Emma Watson discusses with Interview Magazine likely comes from simply being older and more self-conscious. The rest is a result of the fact that Emma Watson is a major star which means people are paying attention to everything she does. She's decided to use her celebrity to do things like speak on behalf of women in front of the United Nations. Watson clearly felt that doing that was something that she needed to do, but that doesn't mean that actually doing it was easy.
Today Emma Watson is long past the Harry Potter years, but she's only becoming a bigger star. Her recent Disney musical Beauty and the Beast has become a bigger box office hit than any of the Harry Potter movies. Next, she'll be seen in the tech-thriller The Circle opposite Tom Hanks and John Boyega.
Emma Watson may have lost the "fearlessness" of her youth, but she seems to be perfectly capable of overcoming that fearlessness to do impressive things. We can't wait to see what she does next.