Sharing her truth. Emma Watson is opening up about why she needed a break from acting.
“I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest,” the Harry Potter franchise star, 33, shared in a Friday, April 28, interview with the U.K.’s Financial Times. “I think I felt a big caged.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower actress hasn’t appeared in any new projects since Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film Little Women. She told the outlet that her desire to put her acting career on pause stemmed from feeling like she had no creative input in her work.
“The thing I found really hard was that I had to go out and sell something that I really didn’t have very much control over,” she said. “To stand in front of a film and have every journalist be able to say, ‘How does this align with your viewpoint?’ It was very difficult to have to be the face and the spokesperson for things where I didn’t get to be involved in the process.”
The Brown University alum added that she felt like she was being punished for choices she didn’t make.
“I was held accountable in a way that I began to find really frustrating, because I didn’t have a voice, I didn’t have a say,” she explained. “I started to realize that I only wanted to stand in front of things where if someone was going to give me flack about it, I could say, in a way that didn’t make me hate myself, ‘Yes, I screwed up, it was my decision, I should have done better.'”
While taking a hiatus from acting, Watson stepped behind the camera to direct a 2022 Prada ad campaign, which she described as a “very” big moment for her.
“People always told me I should direct and produce, even when I was on Potter,” she said. “I was worried it was just technical, not creative, and I couldn’t bring what I think is probably my skill set. … Being a director seemed unattainable. I don’t think I had any confidence in that. I know it seems weird. I mean, I grew up on a film set.”
Despite her respite from her longtime profession, the Beauty and the Beast star said that she will “absolutely” act again.
“But I’m happy to sit and wait for the next right thing,” she told the outlet. “I love what I do. It’s finding a way to do it where I don’t have to fracture myself into different faces and people. And I just don’t want to switch into robot mode anymore. Does that make sense?”
While commemorating her 33rd birthday via Instagram last month, Watson reflected on enjoying a variety of new experiences after she “stepped away from [her] life.” She shared that during her 32nd year, she “learned to surf (badly),” “did a lot of therapy” and “finally figured out a daily practice.”
The activist wrote: “This is 33. Holy moly. Before 29 I hadn’t even heard of a Saturn Return as a concept. Let’s just say that now I am well acquainted.”