Emma Watson had to grow up quickly. Once cast as Hermione Grainger in the Harry Potter series when she was just 10 years old, Watson experienced a rapid rise to fame. But during the process, she grew into an intelligent, lovely woman who is an advocate for sustainability, women's causes, and more.
And while Watson has welcomed her fame with open arms, there's one thing that she will no longer do. Watson has decided to stop taking selfies with fans. She'll sign autographs and talk with fans, but when she's out on the streets, selfies are off-limits.
But before you get upset with Watson, you need to hear her reasoning behind her decision. Watson told Vanity Fair, "For me, it's the difference between being able to have a life and not," she said. "If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they've created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I'm wearing and who I'm with. I just can't give that tracking data."
But Watson understands the importance of the fan experience, so while she won't take selfies, she will make up for it however she can. "I’ll say, 'I will sit here and answer every singleHarry Potterfandom question you have but I just can’t do a picture," said Watson. Obviously, taking selfies while out on the street can have safety implications for a star as famous as Watson.
There are fans, and then there are fans. "I have met fans that have my face tattooed on their body," said Watson. "I’ve met people who used theHarry Potterbooks to get through cancer. I don’t know how to explain it, but theHarry Potterphenomenon steps into a different zone."
6. The Craziness Of The Harry Potter Fandom
In fact, Harry Potter actor Tom Felton even made a documentary inspired by the fandom. Tom Felton Meets the Superfans chronicles Felton's journey to understand the thinking behind such fascination with celebrities and with the Harry Potter actors. The documentary was released in March of 2015.
This isn't to say that Watson doesn't interact with her fans. She does. She just chooses her interactions carefully. "I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact. When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example."
Not only is Watson happy to sign autographs and engage with fans, she gives back in other ways, too. Watson has used her public platform to further her humanitarian efforts. By carefully choosing the causes near and dear to her heart and speaking out through interviews and on Twitter, Watson has established herself as not just an actress, but an advocate to be respected.
In 2014, Watson was appointed the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Just 24 years old at the time, Watson had already spent several years advocating for girls' education. Watson said of the honor, "Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience and awareness to this role.”
In November of 2016, Watson left about 100 copies of Maya Angelou's book, Mom & Me & Mom on the London subway. The book was that month's selection for Watson's online book club, Our Shared Self. Watson even left behind handwritten notes in some of the books for fans to find.
In addition to her advocacy, Watson has a strong sense of accountability for her own choices. In fact, when choosing her wardrobe for the Beauty and the Beast red carpet appearances, she created a PowerPoint presentation that her stylist sent to designers. The presentation included a questionnaire about how each designer's garments are produced, their impact on the environment, and the moral reason that she should choose their look for the red carpet.
So, if you happen to meet Emma Watson on the street? Ask for an autograph, or ask her the Harry Potter question you've been dying to get the answer to. Just respect her privacy and understand when she turns you down if you ask for a selfie.