Emma Watson, obsessive diarist: ‘I must have 10 different personal diaries’

Emma Watson has a new interview with Rookie, an online magazine. The interview is super-long – you can read the whole thing here. What’s interesting about it is that the interviewer is a couple of years younger than Emma, so it’s like two very young women just gossiping with each other and it’s sort of revealing for Emma. There’s stuff that I already knew about her – she’s an anal retentive little thing, she’s insecure about her fame and talent, but she’s also sort of full of herself (in the way that most young women are hyper-self-aware and full of themselves). Here are some highlights:

The Bling Ring people: “Sofia filmed it in such a nonjudgmental way, though—she never tells the audience how they should feel about these characters, which I think might be quite unsettling for people who want to be told, ‘We should hate these people.’ She made it so true to life, it almost feels like a documentary.”

She’s obsessed with The Carrie Diaries: “My final is tomorrow, so I’ve been living like a hermit. The only thing I have been watching—such a guilty pleasure, it’s the perfect study break ’cause you just don’t have to concentrate too hard—is The Carrie Diaries… So embarrassing to admit that! A 23-year-old that’s fully been watching The Carrie Diaries.

On Sofia Coppola: “It was a real dream of mine. I came to the part in a very roundabout way: I told my agent how much I loved Sofia’s work, and she’s like, ‘You should meet with her producer and [unofficial] casting director, Fred Roos,’ and I did, and we got on really well, and that led to meeting Sofia, and she told me she was working on a project with young people in it. I read the script for The Bling Ring and I just got obsessed. For Sofia Coppola to be making a film which is a meditation on film and celebrity culture and what that all means, how it impacts society, and the psyches of young women in particular—I was just like, ‘OK, I have to be in your movie. I really, really, really want to be in your movie.’”

Feeling like an impostor: “It’s called the impostor syndrome. It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird—sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.”

She’s an obsessive diarist and journaler: “I don’t know what it is. I’ve always kept and collected things, and I’ve always been interested in the idea of diaries. I must have 10 different personal diaries: I keep a dream diary, I keep a yoga diary, I keep diaries on people that I’ve met and things that they’ve said to me, advice that they’ve given me. I keep an acting journal. I keep collage books. They’ve given me a place in which I can try to figure myself out, because those kinds of ideas feel too personal to put out into the public or even discuss with anyone else. It allows me to get things out of my head and work them out in a way that feels safe, which is really helpful. I can kind of try things out and play around with things.”

She’s going back to Brown after taking a couple of years off: “I got famous very young, and [college] gave me a safe zone where I could figure things out without people projecting onto me their ideas of what they wanted me to be, or thought I should be. I really like the fact that [Brown] has a very open curriculum, that there aren’t any requirements. Really, I’ve kind of been in charge of my own education since I started out on Potter when I was 9 or 10, and I liked that I could design my own major if I wanted to, and I could take independent studies if I wanted to on subjects that weren’t necessarily in the curriculum. I did an independent study on the psychology and philosophy of how and why we fall in love, which was awesome.”

What she wants to do next: “In terms of my next project, I really want to do a romantic comedy. I’ve been looking for the perfect script. I’m getting to the point where I’m like, “I just need to write the damn thing myself,” because it’s so hard to find something that’s original and really funny. But I’d love to do something like that, just because the last two or three movies I did were kind of heavy.”

Director-chaser: “I’m a real director chaser. I really want to work with Danny Boyle or Ang Lee, I’d love to work with Lynne Ramsay, I’d love to work with Tom Hooper, David Fincher—I have this endless list. I’ll do whatever as long as I can be part of someone else’s creative vision, someone who isn’t just creating something as a piece of entertainment, but is genuinely creating a piece of art. Though it’s nice if it’s commercially successful at the same time. [Laughs] I’m big on directors, more than I am about working with particular actors.”

[From Rookie]

That bit about her diaries and journals is interesting – there’s something kind of “Beyonce’s 24-7 Archive” about it, only Emma’s version is still kind of cute. As for Emma returning to Brown… I kind of lost interest in her stop-go education after she took that second or third hiatus from school. She went to Oxford for a year, right? And she’ll be coming back to Brown next school year, like in the fall? We’ll see. I bet those plans change a few more times.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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62 Responses to “Emma Watson, obsessive diarist: ‘I must have 10 different personal diaries’”

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  1. Samtha says:

    A lot of people work their way through college and take years to graduate. The only difference with Emma is that she’s not doing it because of money issues. I think it’s cool–it shows she values the education, otherwise she wouldn’t keep coming back to it.

  2. Rll says:

    Edge-less tepid dish water person. Dull dull dull

  3. marie says:

    I always wanted to keep journals but I’ve got crap follow through. I would write for a week or two, bore myself and give up. Plus I have an older brother who would have loved ratting me out when we were younger.

    she’s cute, but all she makes me feel is meh.

  4. RocketMerry says:

    I never understood the whole thing with diaries (I just get bored very quickly with them), but if it works for her, then great, I guess.

    She looks cute as of late.

  5. Anna says:

    Oxford was like a semester abroad done through Brown. I actually like that she is combining her studies and work – she’s still getting an education but making the most of career opportunities at the moment.

  6. S says:

    She never actually completed her year in Oxford. She didn’t sit any of her final exams as she had already left to film The Bling Ring. Maybe that set her back in terms of when she finishes… I think she might be over the whole education thing anyway.

  7. Esmom says:

    “They’ve given me a place in which I can try to figure myself out, because those kinds of ideas feel too personal to put out into the public or even discuss with anyone else.”

    Smart, unlike many celebs putting their every thought out into the Twitterverse. She sounds refreshingly grounded compared to many people her age.

    She’s looking beautiful these days, especially in the shot with the white lace top. I didn’t have many feelings about her prior to reading this but I like her now.

  8. Kiki says:

    I don’t get this obsession with Emma finishing her studies in a set time-frame. She already has enough money to last her entire life, she’s pursuing a university degree because she wants to. Let the girl do it in 15 years if she wants to! I just finished my degree and I wish I had had the luxury of doing a semester and then taking a short break to work, and then come back.

    • JenD says:

      I think most people get a degree to advance in their careers, or to start a career. She’s apparently doing it just to get an education, because she’s already got a successful career. I guess that’s why a lot of people don’t understand her unrushed approach. I applaud her getting an education, if that’s what she wants, and taking as long as she wants.
      I have a doctorate, and I’d love to go back to school just to take classes, not to get another degree, but just to learn. But I’m a nerd, which I fully embrace. :-)

    • Maxine says:

      I don’t get the obsession either. None of my friends did 4 consecutive years. She’s postponing what can easily be postponed (school will always be there) in favor of great opportunities that might not come again. Makes sense to me.

    • Dutch says:

      I think people are reacting to the way it was presented: taking a “break from acting” to pursue an education with all the fanfare of her going to an Ivy League school. Then she goes a half a semester then leaves to do another project. If she was more low key about it, like say, Shakira, who has been known to sit in on lectures at UCLA, I don’t people would be as up in arms about it.

    • JennJ says:

      Fully agree. Plus, I think that her program at Brown sounds wonderful and will teach her to be a life-long learner and improve her thinking, writing and analytical ability. Nothing wrong with that!

  9. lady mary. says:

    i used to keep a journal in my teens but that was until my mom found them ,and read every unedited ,controversial ,sentence that ran through my mind ,it was mortifying ,that was the last time i wrote one ,or left one around for everybody’s entertainement

    • Lex says:

      Why on earth did she do that? That’s disgusting

    • poppy says:

      sorry about that; mine too! :cry:
      what is concern as a parent for your child is such a complete invasion of privacy.
      much of mine was creative writing, ie fantasies (major :oops: ). i was punished for real and imagined doings! -a real creativity kill.
      needless to say i never kept one after.

      • Lemony says:

        I kept a diary in middle school & my mother read mine too!
        She woould also open letters or packages I’d receive in the mail & then tape them up to look unopend. After I finally convinced my dad of what she was doing he was super pissed at her & told her to knock it off.
        My mom is super cool, it’s probably the only complaint I have about her, she’s a prankster & sneaky (as well as passive-agressive to a fault). We have a great relationship. But it SO WRONG to read your kids’ diaries. You want to know what’s going on with them? Be an open communicator so they will talk to you about what’s on their mind.
        Also: I moved back home as an adult for a time, to save money, and my mom tried to snoop through my mail again! My dad freaked & basically told her what she was doing was a crime & he was gonna report her. He called the post office!

    • lady mary. says:

      @ poppy and@lemony ,thats awful ,totally feel for ya girls ,iam sure mum nvr meant anythin bad ,as u said @lemony ,we had a great relationship ,but iguess our mums were worried sic as to what we were upto ,but honestly my diary had a vivid description of my perverted dreams with Clive owen and leo back then ,that makes me wonder is it safe for someone in Emma watson’s position to maintain one ?

  10. jojo says:

    she’s looking for a romantic comedy? Seems like thats the catch bucket for actors with limited talent who still want to remain relevant (see anisiton, the queen of romantic comedies). Granted comedy takes a certain timing/delivery, but its not really the stretch you as an actor type of thing.

    I’m still trying to figure out the allure of this young lady. She’s cute, but not beautiful. More like someone you’d see across the street. She just doesnt have that hollywood sex appeal thing going, at least to me. More like a cute kid than a pretty adult i guess.

    Her acting talent is about average: slightly higher than the megan fox/kristin stewart types, but no where near the good to great ones. She seems down to earth and well grounded, but so are alot of normal woman (maybe not in hollywood though).

    She does remind me of natalie portman though. Both were in successful franchises young, but both acted somewhat horribly in them. Both are kinda cute but not sexy cute. both have average acting talent and well grounded, etc.

    • Poke em all says:

      Agreed. you don’t need a wide range of acting talent for a romantic comedy.I’m surprised. I thought she would want to go for something dark…oh well

    • Maria says:

      Portman has an oscar, so i doubt emma minds the comparision.
      i’ll give her some time you cant judge someone acting when they are kids.
      she has got good reviews for her last two movies and Emma is certainly someone who wants to improve. where kristen stewart doesnt care at all emma probably cares too much.
      i dont think romcoms are a great choices (it seems at least she wants a good one) beacuse that would bring her on the path of the typical american sweetheart (i know that she is english) and i dont think anyone can live up to that. though she would be fitting for that role, squeaky clean, beautiful but not threatening to other women, smart, well mannered etc.

  11. Maria says:

    if you like her or not the interview is great, its not the typical professional interview where the interview is either totally a huge fan or only bashing the celeb. its really like two girls talking.

  12. GoodCapon says:

    She looks perpetually 18. Not that it’s bad–I look way younger than my age actually!–but it’s hard to take her seriously in meatier roles because of her young face (which I think everyone equates to Hermione anyway). Plus she has little to no acting talent whatsoever. Her eyebrows could only take her so far.

  13. poppy says:

    she is obviously in no need to rush through school to start a career.
    i give her props for doing it when she doesn’t have to… not many celebs bother but are happy to tell you how smart they are, how the world works, and proclaim themselves *experts* (looking at you goop).

  14. judyjudy says:

    I heart her. She’s so lovely.

  15. ana says:

    I wish more young actors were like her tbh. She seems like a very intelligent and genuinely nice person.

  16. lucy2 says:

    “Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud” – that’s funny, I’ve heard many talented, successful actors say the same thing, even after years in the business. Seems to be a common thing.
    And then there are the annoying diva actors who feel the opposite, and usually don’t have the talent or work ethic to back it up.

    I don’t think her keeping diaries to figure herself out is comparable to Beyonce, who archives her whole life because she thinks she’s so amazing it must be done.

  17. BooBooLaRue says:

    Must be nice to have the cash to take your time. . .

  18. Merritt says:

    She seems down to earth and nice.

  19. Amy Pond says:


    I miss my While You Were Sleepings and French Kisses and whatnot. I like Bridesmaids and stuff but that’s a whole different breed of romantic comedy.

  20. Ginger lover says:

    Totally jealous of Emma… not because she is pretty, famous and/or rich.
    I’m jealous of anyone who got to kiss Rupert Grint!

  21. Onyx XV says:

    Hon, you’re not that important!

  22. Tina says:

    She probably is keeping a diary so when someone or herself writes an autobiography or biography she can reference it or she thinks someone will make a movie out of her life. I’m highly suspicious of celebrities who brag about keeping journals. Those celebrities are narcissistic as they think a book or movie will be mad about their life. Eye roll

  23. Ai says:

    She looks pretty in the photo with her hair braided and good for her to continue with her education despite being set financially. Not a strong actress [I'm comparing her to Mia Wasikowska or Anna Kendrick] but she at least she’s not offensive. Let’s see where she goes with her career.