Emma Watson has announced she is taking a year off acting to focus on feminist activism.
The actress best known for playing Hermione in the Harry Potter film series also said she wants to focus on “personal development”.
Speaking to feminist writer and social activist Bell Hooks, in an interview with Paper Magazine, Watson made the announcement. The pair discussed feminist issues in the modern day.
Watson has become known for her outspoken support for the feminist movement, and last year launched her HeForShe campaign.
Watson said: “I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one. I know that you read a book a day. My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I’m doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own.
“I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realised that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I’m on. I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.”
Watson also spoke of her frustration at her Harry Potter character’s development in the final scenes of the film series. She said she felt the character became somewhat of a “suburban housewife”, and that she felt Hermione was “passive” in a scene which sees her standing on platform 9-and-three-quarters in King’s Cross. But she was adamant that there was more to Hermione than was shown.
“She goes on to have a career,” she said. “And she does go on to do good and interesting things.”
Watson’s tribute to actor Alan Rickman caused a stir on social media last month.
Rickman passed away at age 69, after a battle with cancer. Watson tweeted with the hashtag “#alanrickman”, with a quote from Rickman which said: “There is nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage.”
Many took to twitter to voice extreme opinions of the tweet, suggesting that Watson had exploited the memory of Rickman in order to further an “agenda”.
However many failed to notice that in a separate tweet, Watson shared a screenshot of a Facebook post in which she said: “I’m very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special made and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you”.