“I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really,” Watson said in conversation with the feminist writer bell hooks. “My own personal development is one … My own personal task is to read a book a week … I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading.”
The former Harry Potter star, 25, currently works with the United Nations’ HeForShe gender-equality project, and part of her Hollywood hiatus will involve deep-diving into her role there.
“I’m on my journey with this and it might change, but I can tell you that what is really liberating and empowering me through being involved in feminism is that for me the biggest liberation has been that so much of the self-critiquing is gone,” Watson said.
The activist and hooks, 63, also talked about Watson’s iconic role in J.K. Rowling’s hit fantasy series.
“[Hermione’s] important because she — well, certainly when I was reading Harry Potter, I started reading Harry Potter when I was 8 — I just really identified with her,” she said. “I was the girl in school whose hand shot up to answer the questions. I was really eager to learn in an uncool way. In a super uncool way, actually. And then the character of Hermione gave me permission to be who I was.”
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