“I love social media, and I love what it can do and how it brings people together, but used in the wrong way, it’s incredibly dangerous.”
Jessica Chastain interviewed Emma Watson for Interview magazine, and Watson spoke about the importance of keeping her personal life private.
She, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were children when they were cast in the Harry Potter series, and the actress said that outside of the fictional world of the films, what happened to them in reality “was kind of a fantasy story in itself.”
“The story of my life has been of public interest, which is why I’ve been so passionate about having a private identity,” Watson said. “When I step into a character, people have to be able to suspend their disbelief; they have to be able to divorce me from that girl. And not having everyone know every single intimate detail of my entire life is part of me trying to protect my ability to do my job well.”
And while she likes to inhabit the lives of fictional characters, she doesn’t like the description that acting is lying, which Chastain said she has heard, although Chastain too disagrees with that definition. “Acting is telling the truth under imaginary circumstances,” said Watson. “I cannot think of a worse way to describe acting.”
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Watson’s latest role is in The Circle, a thriller about the dangers of technology and transparency. Chastain asked Watson if she uses technology differently since making the film, which is based on a novel.
“Oh my God, yes,” responded Watson. “I set even more boundaries than I had before between my public and my private lives. It made me think a lot about what I would do if I had children.”
The actress said she deleted her email app from her phone and tried to “create serious boundaries” with her use of technology, since it is so addictive. “I love social media, and I love what it can do and how it brings people together, but used in the wrong way, it’s incredibly dangerous,” said Watson, adding, “We need to make sure that we are using technology, and technology is not using us.”
“Like everything, the internet is an incredibly powerful force that needs governing—not to restrict our freedom, but to protect people,” she continued.
Watson said that because of the popularity of Harry Potter she feels like she is subject to “a certain level of scrutiny,” which can be a struggle for her.
“Sometimes the fear of doing things is overwhelming. I get incredibly overwhelmed and sometimes feel hemmed in by that, afraid of that,” said Watson. “But I know that if I live in that fear, then my life as an artist, as a human being, really, is over.”
The thing that frightens her the most is when people see her as a role model.
“When people call me a role model it puts the fear of God into me, because I feel like I’m destined to fail,” she admitted.
Chastain responded, “Remember, you can teach people that our failures are our greatest gifts in life.”