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Emma Watson explains four-year acting absence

Emma Watson has explained her decision to step back from the world of acting.

The Harry Potter star has not featured in a movie since 2019’s Little Women, with her only screen credit coming in the unscripted Harry Potter reunion special last year.

In an interview with the FT, Watson, who rose to fame playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film adaptations, said that the industry had started to make her feel “caged”.

“I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest,” she said. “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.”

Watson, who has also starred in films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and 2017’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, went on to lament that she didn’t “have a voice”, when being interviewed.

“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 said.

Emma Watson (Getty Images)
Emma Watson (Getty Images)

“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.’”

However, Watson did affirm that she will return to acting at some point in the future.

“Yes, absolutely,” she said. “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?”

In other news, Watson’s body double recently revealed which notorious Harry Potter scene she had to covertly appear in, after Watson suffered an allergic reaction.