In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Emma Watson revealed that she is no longer taking selfies with fans.
Before anyone starts accusing the Harry Potter actor of exhibiting diva-like behavior, Watson has explained why she now declines most requests for a photo and it makes total sense.
Speaking with the mag, Watson explains that taking a photo with a fan, who will then likely post it on social media, means a lack of privacy for the famous thespian. “For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not. 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,” says Watson, who has suffered through a number of stalking cases throughout her career. “They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.”
Watson is quick to explain that her resistance to photos doesn’t mean she isn’t happy to chat with a fan about her work, which more often than not involves her time spent as wizarding heroine Hermione. “I’ll say, ‘I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have but I just can’t do a picture.’ I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact.”
This doesn’t mean the UN Ambassador and star of the upcoming Disney remake of Beauty and the Beast denies all photo requests, instead she addresses them on a case by case basis. “When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week?” says Watson. “Children I don’t say no to, for example.”
Her new approach to taking fan photos is not something that Watson decided on lightly. “I’ve been doing this since I was 10 or 11, and I’ve often thought, I’m so wrong for this job because I’m too serious; I’m a pain in the ass; I’m difficult; I don’t fit,” she says. “But as I’ve got older, I’ve realized, No! Taking on those battles, the smaller ones and the bigger ones, is who I am.”
While many of her peers often take fans photos during their private time, Watson explains that her role in the Potter franchise and the global fandom that surrounds it makes her situation different from other actors. “I have met fans that have my face tattooed on their body. I’ve met people who used the Harry Potter books to get through cancer. I don’t know how to explain it, but the Harry Potter phenomenon steps into a different zone. It crosses into obsession. A big part of me coming to terms with it was accepting that this is not your average circumstances.”
Watson also notes that social media is the great divide between celebrities of past generations and now. “People will say to me, ‘Have you spoken to Jodie Foster or Natalie Portman? They would have great advice for you on how to grow up in the limelight.’ I’m not saying it was in any way easy on them, but with social media it’s a whole new world. They’ve both said technology has changed the game.”