Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series
Photo: © 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
For more than half her life, actress Emma Watson has bewitched audiences as Hermione Granger, a pivotal character in the Harry Potter film franchise, based on author J.K. Rowling's beloved series.

Now, this English beauty is all grown up and revealing what sets the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, apart from the rest. Plus, Emma dishes about college, dorm life and her on-screen kiss with co-star Rupert Grint.
Kari Forsee: First of all, congrats on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film in the series. Since you've seen it and the rest of us haven't, can you tell us what makes this one stand out from the rest?

Emma Watson: I think this one is the most funny. It has much more to do with the relationships between the students, and there's two quite big love triangles going on in the middle. It just has more romantic interest, which I think is great, and I think the fans will really respond to that, because sometimes the films can be quite dark and quite heavy. I think it's nice to have that kind of lightness to it, as well. So yeah, I'm really happy with it.

KF: Especially leading up to the seventh film, which deals with pretty dark subjects.

EW: Really dark. No, exactly. I think it was really important that we got a little bit of comedy in there. Definitely.
KF: Well, speaking of the love triangle, I was wondering, if you were in Hermione's shoes and you had a crush on Ron, would you have dealt with his relationship with another girl differently or similarly? What would Emma do?

EW: Oh, god. That's a good question! I don't know. I've got no idea. I think I probably would have acted pretty similarly, actually, I'm not going to lie. I think she's in a tricky situation because she hasn't really even realized herself that she really likes him. Like, she's still working it all out. It's still kind of confusing for her. So yeah, I think I would have acted the same. She tries all the old tricks. She tries to make him jealous. She tries to handle it with this really horrible guy who likes her. His name's Cormac, and he's horrible. It's very sweet how she tries to handle it.
KF: How are you and Hermione similar? Or do you find yourself pretty different?

EW: I think there are differences and similarities. I think I'm probably a bit more fun-loving than she is. She's a bit more serious than I am. I think I'm a bit more rounded than she is. She's very, like, focused on her academics, and she doesn't really do anything else. But then, we have similarities, as well. I'm very loyal like she is, and I'm very hardworking like she is.
KF: So the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was this week. How did the audience and fans respond to the film?

EW: We had the most amazing amount of rain. Unbelievable. And there were like hundreds of people out there, and they just stayed. They were drenched, drenched all the way through. And everyone stayed. In fact, it's probably one of the biggest crowds we've ever had. So, for them to have stayed, considering how awful it was, was just incredible. I think we have the most dedicated fans of any. It's amazing.

KF: Do you find that the fans in America are just as dedicated, or are the British fans more dedicated?

EW: Oh, gosh. That's a really hard question. Gosh, I'll have to wait until tonight [at the New York City premiere] and see. Interesting question.
KF: So I know you all have already started filming the final installments of the Harry Potter series. How does it feel to be close to the end and wrapping it all up?

EW: It feels really strange. It feels really strange. I mean, I still have a lot of work left to do, so I'm being asked all the time, "How do you feel about it coming to an end?" And I'm kind of not quite there yet. I have a lot left to do, and I'm kind of in denial as well. I don't think I'm really going to realize it's over until it's really over, if that makes sense.
KF: And I heard you and Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Ron Weasley, filmed your first kiss recently.

EW: We did.

KF: What was that like?

EW: It was, it was...ugh, it was hard. It was really hard. We were both in the same boat, though. We both were really struggling with the idea of having to kiss each other, because our relationship is so platonic. He's like my brother, but we did it and we were happy.

KF: Did you have a little pep talk beforehand?

EW: Yeah, we talked about it before. It was nice that we were in the same boat, as I said before. We both were just like, "Oh god, this is horrible."

KF: Did you all have mints or gum on hand?

EW: We both agreed that we would clean our teeth, but that was it.
KF: Did you and the other actors know what J.K. Rowling had planned for the seventh book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Or were you just as curious as the rest of us?

EW: Well, I was just as curious as everyone else. The only thing J.K. Rowling told me, she told me I would end up having to kiss both Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert, and I was like, "No way!" This is before I read the last one, so I was like, "Oh, god." Because in the last one, Ron has a vision when he sees Harry and Hermione kissing in his vision, so I'm going to have to do that for the vision. Even though it doesn't actually happen, I still have to do it. I'm going to end up kissing both of them in the last film. Ugh, it's horrible.

KF: Did you get your copy of the seventh book and pour through it like the rest of us, or did you take it slow?

EW: I'm such a big Harry Potter fan, but I just wanted to read it for my own pleasure and enjoyment, not thinking, "Oh, I have to do this in the film," or whatever. I was really excited.
KF: At the end of the seventh book, J.K. reveals what's in store for the series' main characters. What did you think of Hermione's future...her marriage and her house elf activism? Is that what you imagined for her?

EW: Yeah, that's exactly what I wanted to happen. Down to the fact that I love J.K. Rowling's names that she chose for their kids: Rose and Hugo. I think they're perfect, so I was super happy.
KF: Many fans consider Hermione a modern, movie heroine. Are there other movie heroines you admire?

EW: Oh, gosh. I love Cate Blanchett as an actress. I think she's had the most amazing career. She does loads of different stuff, and she plays so many different roles. Anything that she does just says quality. She's just brilliant. I think the way Natalie Portman has handled her career, you know, I think she's amazing. I just think she's incredible. I think Jennifer Connelly is beautiful and great.
KF: Speaking of Natalie Portman, I hear you're going off to college in the fall in the United States. Congratulations! We're so happy to have you. Natalie did something very similar during her career. I know everyone's asking, but can you tell us where you're going to be studying? Can you give us a clue?

EW: Oh, gosh. I'm definitely coming to the States, but I can't talk about where I'm going. I'm trying so hard to keep it private.

KF: Are you going to be announcing it on your website?

EW: Yeah, I said that because...you know, the press claims every single time that they know where I'm going, and it's definitely where I'm going. And they have it wrong. They never check their facts, and I'm not telling them. So I'm just like, "Guys, just don't believe everything you read, and I'll tell you where I'm going."

KF: I can't tell you how many different colleges I've heard you're attending.

EW: Oh my god, four or five? Something ridiculous. They're all like so certain, "She's definitely going here." It's crazy how much interest there is.
KF: What are you looking forward to as a freshman in college? What are you most excited about?

EW: I don't know, just everything. You know, a new experience. I'm looking forward to studying again, and riding around campus on my bicycle, and having a roommate...and just everything. The whole experience.

KF: So you're going to live in the dorms and have a roommate?

EW: Yes. I can't wait.
KF: So this is going to be your first time living in the States, right?

EW: Yes.

KF: What are you going to miss most about England?

EW: Ugh, I'm going to miss baked beans and tea and marmite, and gosh, lots of things.

KF: What are you starting to like about America from your past trips? Do you have any favorite foods or restaurants?

EW: Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon and amazing bagels. So good. Cheesecake is awesome. Yeah, so there are plenty of things I like here.
KF: Have you a chosen a major? Do you know what you want to study?

EW: I'm not sure, which is one of the reasons why I'm coming to the States—so I'm given time to decide my major. But it will probably be something to do with the humanities. It'll probably be like English or art or something.

KF: What do you see yourself doing in the future? I read you may not want to continue acting.

EW: No, I think I'll keep acting, but I just need to take a bit of a break. I've been acting solidly since I was 9 years old. I just need a couple of years to just be normal for a bit.
KF: I just saw your Teen Vogue cover and photo spread—incredible. Who are some of your favorite designers?

EW: Oh, gosh. I love Christopher Kane. I love Phillip Lim. I love Proenza. I love Chanel, Balenciaga...everyone really. I just have fun with it and enjoy it.

KF: Will you be wearing Chanel at college?

EW: No! No, when I'm promoting a movie, this is the stuff I wear. When I'm at college, I'm going to be in sweats and Topshop.

J.K. Rowling's bookshelf

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