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Emma Watson, about to graduate, ponders the next stage of her life


April 2, 2014/10.05

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Above Emma Watson at the Berlin première of Noah last month.

Gracing the April issue of Elle Australia, Emma Watson gives readers the opportunity to realize that despite all her success, she just wants to be normal, and she doesn’t want to be criticized for calling an ‘eraser’ a ‘rubber’, a mistake, she tells Elle, she made during her first week at Brown University. In a few months, she will graduate with a degree in English, and she admits, she has no idea what the next chapter of her life is meant to look like, yet she’s optimistic about the whole ‘post-grad situation.’
   ‘Look,’ she tells Elle’s Mickey Rapkin, ‘I just want to know exactly what the next 10 years of my life is going to look like, OK? And to have it organized on a colour-coordinated calendar. Is that really too much to ask for?’ And as most of her graduating class would ask the same question, it becomes clear that, although Watson has graced the film and fashion worlds, she is just like any other “almost graduate” deciding where the next chapter of her life is heading, or at least, trying to figure it out.
   But Watson admits she is jealous of other actresses, whose rise to fame have been less embarrassing to hers, citing her role as Hermione Granger as her greatest, yet not her most stylish, role.
   ‘There are these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two and they get to emerge as this complete human being,’ adding, ‘And I’m so jealous! Because everyone has seen me with my terrible haircuts and my awful teeth and all the terrible things I wore and said.’ But that’s the beauty of Watson, she’s so candid and honest about her own insecurities and afflictions that she seems unable to understand why people love her now as the style icon she is, but Watson worries that her best days are already behind her.
   ‘I’ve got so much left to do and prove,’ she tells Rapkin, adding that her absence from the screen wasn’t due to the lack of offers, but, rather the lack of a challenging character. ‘I was being offered roles that I didn’t feel were very complicated. Women that were one-dimensional. Roles that required me to be one thing, but real women never are.’
   Watson admits that she doesn’t want her real life to happen on screen, remembering a quote she once read by Elizabeth Taylor, ‘She had her first kiss in character on a movie set. It really struck me. I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could in somebody else’s clothes. And my experience could all belong to someone else.’ The desire to form her own identity is something that Watson emphasizes, she wants to create her own memories, and not just play the role. As the interview progresses, you get the sense that Watson is just trying to find out who she is, without all the Hollywood hype, the movies, the fashion labels; none of that seems too important to her. Emma Watson is on a course to find a “normal” life, but, as she tells Rapkin, finding answers can be tiresome, but finding a safe place is the ultimate goal.
   ‘If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stop trying to find the answers and certainties.’
   Her desire to feel safe and balanced we all share, even Watson admits her quest is a little mad, but she won’t give up on trying to build a “normal” life. ‘You might think I’m crazy,’ she says, ‘but I was like, “I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself.” Because I can never rely on a physical place.’
   Whatever happens in her quest to build a “normal” life, we hope that Watson continues to dazzle us with her acting performances and that she finally discovers what all graduating students search for: the next chapter of her life.—Snjezana Bobič

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