In an interview with the Financial Times, the “Harry Potter” alum explained why she retreated from the spotlight after working on the Oscar-winning film alongside Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern and filmmaker Greta Gerwig.
“I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest,” she told the Financial Times.
“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.”
In particular, the 33-year-old actor and activist seemed to take issue with how she was expected to promote the projects to which she was attached. Prior to “Little Women,” Watson starred in two other high-profile adaptations: “The Circle” and Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast.” The latter especially required Watson to participate in an extensive worldwide press tour.
“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,” she continued.
“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. And I started to [realize] 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.’”
Despite her recent qualms about the profession, Watson told the Financial Times she “absolutely” intends to act again — but she’s “happy to sit and wait for the next right thing” to come along. In a follow-up interview with the publication, the performer confirmed that she is set to begin shooting a movie next year.
“I love what I do,” she said. “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?”
During her acting hiatus, Watson has launched a French-inspired gin brand, Renais, with her younger brother and directed an advertising campaign she wrote for Prada. Her first foray into directing was a “very” big deal for her, according to the Financial Times.
“People always told me I should direct and produce, even when I was on ‘Potter,’” she recalled.
“I was worried it was just technical, not creative, and I couldn’t bring what I think is probably my skill set. … Being a director seemed unattainable. I don’t think I had any confidence in that. I know it seems weird. I mean, I grew up on a film set.”