Emma Watson Reveals Why She’s ‘Glad’ She Stepped Away From Acting

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Written By Maya Cantina

After spending the majority of her life acting, Emma Watson has used the last few years to pursue other passions outside of the profession. While the iconic Harry Potter cast member has been open about why she stepped away from performing, now she’s opened up about why she’s “glad” she did it.  

Emma Watson is now 33, and in an interview with British Vogue, she explained how entering her 30s was also a “moment of real change.” This shift led to her directing her first commercial, starting her master’s in creative writing, and ultimately stepping away from acting. When asked if it’s been easy to turn down roles, she said:

Because I’m in a career that moves very quickly, the decision to take time to do these things felt like a very big decision. [Choosing] to go back and write and study and get behind the camera was terrifying for me because I’d never done it before. I had always been in front of the camera; I’d always been an actor.

Continuing to speak about what she’s done since making her last film, which was Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Little Women, Emma Watson explained that sometimes her characters felt “much realer” than her. She had been consistently working since she was 10, so I can totally see where she’s coming from. Continuing to explain this point and why she’s left the spotlight, she said that she’s made an effort to try new things:

I’m just so glad that I did [step away from acting] because I have this feeling of having my own voice and creative space and sovereignty in some way that I don’t think I did before – more autonomy. I’m so glad that I allowed things to be messy for a minute and to really allow myself to not know [what’s next], because the knowing that I’ve come to, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

It’s nice to see that Watson has found some of her “own voice and creative space and sovereignty” by taking a break from acting. She has said in the past that she “wasn’t very happy” performing, noting that it made her feel “a bit caged.” Now, she feels more free.

In between being part of the Little Women cast and now, the Meg March actress has directed a Prada commercial, continued her work as an activist and even started a gin brand with her brother Alex, called Renais. However, while she’s taken a substantial break from acting, make no mistake, Emma Watson is not retiring, as she said she’ll “absolutely” return for the right project.  

While we likely won’t be seeing an Emma Watson project on the 2024 movie schedule, she still has a lot going on to get excited about! So, as we wait to see what she does next, you can stream the films that started her career – the Harry Potter movies – with a Max subscription.  

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