Emma Watson has been famous for a very long time.
In an interview with ELLE for its April 2014 issue, the 23-year-old actress spoke about her career, which she has had for well over half her life, as well as her upcoming role in Noah. Of course, one thing that accompanies a high level of fame for so many years is the inability to grow up out of the public eye–something Watson sounds like she realized at some point after becoming such a massive success.
“I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me. I don’t know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.”
In 1999, Watson was cast in the first movie of the Harry Potter series’ film adaptation. She was nine, meaning she was approximately third or fourth grade. When I was a little kid, I remember doing community theater and desperately hoping I would someday get cast in a play that would allow me to kiss my first crush. In retrospect, that would have been sort of sad. Not sad in some devastating way, but sad in the sense that those brief, peculiar, awkward memories are small treasures to so many people. For me, it’s the dumb stuff about growing up that I can remember: my first boyfriend grabbing my hand under the desk during Spanish class, my first kiss taking place outside the art room in middle school, my first broken heart leading me to troll the mall with my then-best friend for guys who looked like they were in bad emo bands. Stupid, inane things. And when you’re famous as an adolescent and teenager, you don’t really get those. At least, not in private.
Watson, in fact, sounds like she wishes she had blown up later in her career, similar to how Elle Fanning, Emma Stone and now Shailene Woodley have done.
“There are all these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two, and they get to emerge as this complete human being. And I’m so jealous!”
They all had careers in their teen years, sure, but they weren’t in some of the biggest movies in history before even reaching high school. They didn’t have to become a “complete human being” while everybody speculated on who they were dating, what they were wearing, and if they were dating this costar or that costar. Actresses are specifically targeted for how they look, so going through puberty in the public eye must have been awful–can you imagine if your brow choices, middle school pimples and body development as a kid were all aired for the world to see?
For more photos and quotes by Emma Watson, check them out at ELLE!
Photo: Carter Smith/ELLE