Harry Potter star Emma Watson says four-year acting break because she “didn’t have a voice”

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The Harry Potter star said she hasn’t appeared in a film in four years because she felt caged by the industry – having last appeared in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women in 2019

Harry Potter star Emma Watson first rose to fame when she was cast in the record-breaking franchise aged eleven. After becoming one of the most recognisable faces in film, she quietly took a four-year acting break because, she says, she “didn’t have a voice”. 

Emma, now 33, has not acted in a film since Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women back in 2019. The only credit she has had since was in the Harry Potter reunion special last year, where she took part as herself.

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The actress – who played the role of Hermione Granger for over 10 years – explained her four-year break in an interview with the Financial Times. She said: “I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest. I think I felt a bit caged.

“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. 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. 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.

“And I started to realise that I only wanted to stand in front of things where if someone was going to give me flak 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’.”

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What is Emma Watson doing now?

It was recently reported that Emma, who became one of the world’s richest celebrities of her age, will be returning to education by studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford University this academic year. In the interview with FT, she addressed whether she would also return to acting in the future.

She said: “Yes, absolutely. But I’m happy to sit and wait for the next right thing. 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 any more. Does that make sense?”

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