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From Harry Potter to the Bible, Emma Watson Steps into Grown Up Roles

Travelers Today       By    Jordan Riefe

Updated: Jan 27, 2014 09:53 AM EST

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She grew up in the spotlight, playing Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, but Emma Watson is well into the second phase of her career starring in grown-up movies like The Bling Ring and now Noah.

Cast in the role at the age of ten, Watson found herself starring in the biggest box office movie of 2001. She managed to escape the glare by entering Brown University when the franchise ended in 2011. Not certain she would return to show business, Watson studied English and pursued other interests, but the spotlight beckoned and now she's more committed than ever to acting.

Here she talks about college life, auditioning and her favorite TV shows.

Who are you wearing?

"Nicole Maret."

Did you pick it out yourself?

"My friend and I choose things together."  

You actually had to audition for this?

"I definitely had to audition for it. I was a child when I did Harry Potter, and it's just so different. Now I have made a very conscious decision as an adult to be a performer. My approach to it is different, and I don't feel entitled to anything. Every time I do go up for a role, I do feel like I have to prove myself to a certain extent because I played one role with specific sort of parameters over a very long period of time. I still have to show people what I can do. I don't think people have really seen that yet."

Are you confident as an actress?

"I am more confident now.  I used to sort of go in auditions and sort of say, well you can cast me if you like, maybe I could do a good job, (laughter). And now I am much more focused, I am a much more go-getter. I went away and I studied, took time away, and I realized that it was really what I wanted to do. So I became very focused and driven about it in a way that I hadn't quite been before. I didn't realize that I was able to get films made. I didn't realize that I would be able to tell stories that I really wanted to be told. I just really got the bug again."  

Are you still at college or have you finished?

"Yes, I plan to graduate in May from Brown. I am so glad that I took the time to do it. I have the whole of the rest of my life to work, but I was developing and changing. I needed space in which to figure out from so many different perspectives, figure out how to be independent, living in another country. It was a really valuable lesson knowing how to take care of myself. And then also it meant I was able to have a kind of normal existence for a while. On top of that, having an education is such a valuable asset. It's something that I think will make my life richer, personally and professionally."

Did you manage to have any normality at university?

"It was difficult. I don't think it ever could have been like your standard university experience, no.  But I feel like I definitely experienced it, and I also like that I had an experience of a US institution and a UK institution, which I kind of compare."

Did you get any new interests when you were in America? 

"I was really into TV shows and I started watching House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black and Friday Night Lights, stuff that I hadn't really been into before. It was really through my college friends, that was a Friday night thing, we would do TV marathons."

Do you remember a specific moment where you said, "Wow, I can do this"?

"I was just really lucky in that people just really hooked me in with really interesting things. Sofia Coppola sent me The Bling Ring, and I went, Wow, how fun would it be to play her? And how interesting and how do I try to understand her, and how do I make her real and how do I make that accent perfect? And then Darren came in with Noah, and Jonah Hill and Seth Rogan came in with This is the End and I went, That would be hilarious and I would have to improvise and I have never done that before. I love that I just get to leave myself behind when I get to play some of these new roles and in a way that I didn't really get challenged as much when I played Hermione. I find that really exciting."

After This is the End, do you feel like going to some comedies?  

"I think earlier on in the Harry Potter films, that was one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most was that Hermione was actually very funny. She was actually very unaware of herself and as a result, she was very comical. I really miss those kinds of scenes between Hermione and Ron where you would really laugh.  I did a play when I was at Brown. I did Chekov, and it was The Three Sisters. It was a really dark comedy, and I really enjoyed getting to make people laugh. So yeah, it's definitely 

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