Emma Watson announces she is taking a year out from acting to further immerse herself in feminism

Harry Potter star says she intends to read 'a book a week' and 'do a lot of listening'

Katie Grant
Saturday 20 February 2016 00:05
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Emma Watson at a film premiere in Berlin earlier this month
Emma Watson at a film premiere in Berlin earlier this month

Still working her magic on Hollywood?

Emma Watson has announced she will be stepping away from Tinseltown for a while. The actress, who was propelled to stardom through her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise, is taking a year out from acting to further immerse herself in feminism.

How long has she been interested in women’s rights?

“When I was nine, I think, during my first-ever Harry Potter conference, I said I was a ‘bit of a feminist’… I think I was scared to go the full hog,” Watson told the author and activist bell hooks in an interview for Paper magazine. By 2014 she was so committed to striving for equality she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

Those celebrities are always hitching their wagon to good causes...

Certainly many publicity-hungry personalities have less than altruistic intentions but Watson hardly needs any more exposure. Her keynote speech for the UN in which she unveiled an intuitive named HeforShe, aimed at engaging men in the fight for gender equality, earned her widespread respect among activists and academics.

Now she’s quitting the day job for it?

Watson said she was taking a year away from acting to focus on her “own personal development”. She said she intends to read “a book a week” and “do a lot of listening”.

Emma Watson asks Malala Yousafzai about feminism

What does she hope to achieve?

“I don't want to preach to the choir. I want to try to talk to people who might not encounter feminism and talk to them...I want to engage in the topic with people who wouldn't normally.” She’s got a fan in bell hooks, who told Watson: “You're really sincerely struggling with what is needed to create a world without patriarchal domination.”

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