Emma Watson dropped out of college because she’s a perfectionist


About a month ago, I was giving Emma Watson a hard time, and many of you yelled at me. She dropped out of Brown University, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not, and I thought the whole thing was rather fishy. She announced her “break” from university and immediately flew to Paris to shoot a commercial for Lancôme – it seemed like a Lohan move from a girl who was being promoted as another Jodie Foster-Natalie Portman. Well, Emma has a new interview with the AP where she talks a little bit more about her break from college, and why she needed it. Oh, she also has some funny little judgy things to say about Kate Middleton too!

Emma Watson has a lot of sympathy for Kate Middleton. The royal bride-to-be is under a worldwide spotlight ahead of her April 29 wedding to Prince William – with special focus on fashion, what she’ll wear for her big day. Only two billion people may be watching, according to one British minister.

“Poor girl, that must be an incredible amount of pressure,” Watson told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this month. “I hope she’s enjoying it. Must be intense.”

Watson herself knows something about life in the spotlight. Over the last eleven years she’s grown up on screen and in public from a child actress to a film star. These days who she’s dating is big entertainment news, what she’s wearing is dissected by fashionistas around the globe, which products she is endorsing fuels business stories. A simple trip to the hairdresser to cut her long golden brown hair into an elfin crop made international headlines. Along with co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, Watson’s brought the magical books of JK Rowling to life, by playing Harry Potter’s bookish but gutsy pal Hermione Granger.

And, like her character, Watson has always been studious. She enrolled to study liberal arts at Rhode Island’s Brown University in 2009. But being a movie star and an Ivy League student took its toll, and she says commuting back and forth to the U.S. left her stressed out. Ever the perfectionist, Watson couldn’t stand delivering a below-average performance, so she took some time off. How very Hermione.

“I just knew I was going to be beating myself up because I wasn’t going to be able to be doing the best that I knew that I could at school or in my job,” she said. “If I’d been getting B’s or C’s I would’ve been really upset.”

So she will be returning to school in September after helping to promote the final two films. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ is out on DVD in the U.S. on April 15 – with “Part 2,” the last installment, set for release in July.

Watson also found time for another movie role in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which starts filming in May.

Watson also plans to check out Radcliffe’s Broadway stint singing and dancing in “How to Succeed to Business Without Really Trying” – and admits she’s very tempted to follow in his tip-tapping footsteps.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she explained. “The idea of having a live audience is just really appealing to me. I think that must be an amazing experience.”

So, for the girl who turns 21 on Friday, life is good.

“I just had so many amazing opportunities come my way. I just want to make the best of everything,” Watson said.

[From The Associated Press via HuffPo]

Maybe I was too harsh about the college stuff. If I was too hard on her, and she ends up returning to Brown in September, I will apologize to her in writing. If she ends up lolling around, “modeling” and party-hopping, however, I will resume to my previous judgment of her: please, Emma, less Lohan and more… being a student.

Regarding the Waity Katie stuff – I can’t decide if Emma is being sympathetic or if she’s being judgy and her every word is dripping with condescension. It can be read either way. “Poor girl, that must be an incredible amount of pressure. I hope she’s enjoying it. Must be intense.” I think she’s aiming for sympathetic, right?




Photos courtesy of Fame.

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49 Responses to “Emma Watson dropped out of college because she’s a perfectionist”

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  1. krissy says:

    I love that last picture. lol

  2. Zelda says:

    I see nothing at all snarky or judgy about her Kate Middleton comment. Like, at all. What am I missing?

  3. flourpot says:

    Ten dollars to a donut she and her family sat down and talked about her taking a break from school. How refreshing. At this very moment, in my eyes, she can do no wrong. Love her!

  4. Quest says:

    It is ashamed that starlets don’t like how they look naturally because that last picture is joyously-good

  5. Iris says:

    I see where she’s coming from. Why half-ass something as important as higher education when you could just get the full experience/benefits later?

    Also, she looks like Justin Beiber in the last photo.

  6. kiki says:

    I don’t think you missed anything; Emma didn’t say anything “judgy” at all. In Kaiser’s imagination, everyone hates Kate as much as she does.

  7. Paige says:

    she doesnt need to be a student! theres far more to life than that!

  8. Celia says:

    it’s her life! none of our business!

  9. Cheyenne says:

    Cute haircut. And if she chooses not to return to college I don’t see how that is anyone else’s business.

  10. gloaming says:

    She’s always been a straight A student.

    Why should she settle for less than that. Good on her for grabbing the opportunities that are coming her way now.


    “Please Emma, less Lohan and more… being a student”.


    Lohan’s lifestyle isn’t comparable to Emma Watson.

  11. Micki says:

    I hope she finishes her education. There are not that many young actresses who think uni can actually refine them and make them more interesting.

    Anyway, her coment about KM can be interpreted both ways. Let’s not forget that Kate is a part of the Royal circle for nearly a decade (in a way much more than late Diana), so she’s used to presure and scrutiny. I’d probably say the same “Hope she enjoys it” if I wanted to be bitchy.

  12. N.D. says:

    There is nothing Lohan in how she lived her life so far. Even if she’ll not go back to Brown, that won’t make her a Lohan but someone who’s sober and realistic about herself, her life path, what she wants and what she can get without overstretching herself.

    I don’t see what’s wrong with doing this commercial btw. You say “she left Brown and flew to Paris to film this ad” like she dropped books to get drunk & drugged in public. But she’s just doing her job.

  13. Shay says:

    I’d imagine that it would be a pain to be a student following the fame of Harry Potter. It would make things more complex and she has probably had enough of that for the last few years. Maybe things became a little difficult at Brown. As to why she’d pick Brown University. Isn’t that a place for rich pretentious f—tards who simply go there just to say they’ve graduated from Brown in order to climb the financial ladder?

  14. K says:

    I read it as an awesome snip at Waity Katie. *snap snap*

    I dropped out of college for the same reason. After I got my shit together, I went back and am currently going through with my bachelor in nursing. No shame in needing time to get all the balls balanced, ducks in a row, yada yada.

  15. khaveman says:

    Hate the hair. It makes her look 35.

  16. MikeyAngel says:

    Finishing her education is important, but doing her promotional duties, and filming may only be here now. Who is to say what lies ahead. She can always go back to school. Like my dad has always said about college athletes going into the draft in the sophmore or senior year, if the cash is there now take it, cause next week he might blow his knee.

  17. Lemon Drops says:

    Unlike most people, she doesn’t really “need” college to get a job to survive on, she’s got plenty of money and jobs to do that will hold her over, unlike the average joe who needs an education to get out of the 8 dollar an hour, scraping by jobs.

  18. OtherChris says:

    Good point, @LemonDrops. I think taking a break for anyone can be a smart move. I had friends in undergrad up kept pushing when they were under a lot of stress and it didn’t end well. She seems smart enought to figure things out, whether she goes back or not.

  19. Marie says:

    Miss Emma is in no way, I repeat in no way in the Lohan category ever. Emma is classy and has a booming career and well Lohan is a Lohan…Lindsay Lohan isn’t good enough to shine Emma’s shoes…One because bitch would steal them second she just isn’t good enough to be in the same room with Emma.

  20. Hollowdoll says:

    That last pic is awesome.

  21. dorothy says:

    I love her. However, wish she would have stayed in college. Always seems to keep people in Hollywood somewhat grounded.

  22. Embee says:

    She doesn’t need to go to college to get a job; she needs to go to college to gain some perspective on life.

    I needed it for the same reason, but with a different predicate: I came from a small town and had no sense of the world. She needs it to in order to experience something other than being a celebrity.

    Oh. And the education won’t hurt either. All that Milton, Chaucer, Darwin and calculus is good for a girl.

  23. Crash2GO2 says:

    I’ll never forget about the study I read that showed prisoners of war in solitary confinement with a higher education fared far better psychologically than their less educated counterparts. There is a lot to be said for giving yourself as many resources as you can to navigate this thing called life and all the obstacles it can throw at you.

    Having said that, I certainly sympathize with her reasoning and wish her the best and hope that she does return to college eventually.

  24. lola says:

    i thought like a year or two back she was all “i’m done with acting and want to go to school and be regular.” or am i hallucinating?

    Sounds to me like she changed her mind, straight up.

    Perfectionist or not, pick one yo.

  25. Brittney says:

    @kiki… my thoughts exactly.

    I imagine Emma doesn’t think very highly of women whose romantic lives are their claim to fame, but Emma’s also British, and royal brides are national treasures there.

  26. AngelMay says:

    It takes balls to condescend to the future (maybe) Queen of England! I think she has definite Goopy, Portmanish tendencies.

    Whoever said she looks like Bieber is dead on. I see pictures of her and wonder why the Bieber is posing in full drag makeup. Confusing.

  27. Cleo says:

    I loved her gigantic Hermione hair. It was HUGE. It was awesome.

  28. whatyousay?! says:

    i think im missing something—if shes already getting paid top dollar for acting why is it necessary for her to pursue higher education , in liberal arts no less?! you should just commend her for trying, because its obvious she doesn’t need a higher education to succeed in life…and celebs usually get those bs honorary degrees after years of acting anyway. i think this was a real reach.

  29. Ell says:

    I say ‘poor girl’ and ‘poor thing’ sometimes. I have no idea why her reply about Kate could be interpreted as judgy or condenscending. Maybe it’s a cultural thing.

  30. Lizzie says:

    I don’t think that going to college necessarily gives people a greater perspective on life or is the only way to attain one. I’m currently a student, and I have seen many in the science majors who live/breathe science and homework, they take no classes outside science and don’t socialize much. I doubt their greater perspective in life gains much. There are also plenty of people who go to college and are racist bigots with delusional beliefs, so college didn’t help much there. Education does allow for some to increase their perspective in life, but its mostly those that want to gain it that actually gain it. Emma gets to travel, meet a lot of people, read on her own and has the money to do so, which could give her a better concept of the world and knowledge, but only if she wants it. College is primarily for social mobility, and only allows a greater perspective in life for those who are open to it, not to all who attend.

  31. I can completely sympathize with her academic anxiety – my breakdown was in part due to my faltering grades in college (and vice versa).

    Academia was my identity. I’d hit up an office hour weekly and head up student study sections so I’d always be “prepared”. I’d copy my lecture notes over and over again into different notebooks until they were “perfect”. I had a full-blown panic attack once at the end of a lecture because I found out I got a “C” on a midterm. Putting that much focus on something as arbitrary as grades is super unhealthy, and it took a month in the hospital (and hours of therapy) for me to realize that.

    Regardless, I’m happy I (eventually!) found a balance, and I’m proud of my (on going, less anal-retentive) education. I hope she strikes a middle ground and makes it a point to go back to school.

  32. moon says:

    Having a strong British background, after reading Emma’s words, I would say she is NOT being “judgy” but more so empathetic. Brits have a different way of speaking, though I’ve lived mostly in Canada I still speak in a very British way and people often misinterpret my meaning.
    I love Emma’s hair. I’m going to jolly ol’England in just a few weeks for a wedding, just yesterday i chose that hairstyle for myself, I can’t wait to see my stylist.

  33. Jojo says:

    On whether she’s being judgy vs. sympathetic toward Kate: dose se have to be one or the other? Maybe she’s a bit of both. We don’t hold only one opinion of people. I find myself riddled with these sorts of contradictions all the time. Don’t you guys?

  34. Ashley says:

    Usually I’m in total agreement with you, Kaiser, but taking a leave from college does not a Lohan make.

    She’s got a couple more DUIs (at the VERY least) before that comparison becomes valid.

  35. Echee says:

    Here is the thing. For years emma has said all these positive things via the press. They eat it up. They laud here. Never do they take notice if she follows though. Emma watson is a media hyped and self created brand. She’s media savvy and calculated. People just can’t look past the visual to realize this. If they took the time to read her quotes and then match it up with what she actually does they would get a different picture of Emma Watson.

  36. junipergreen says:

    And yeah, mentioning Emma Watson and Lindsay Lohan in the same sentence is all sorts of Dali surreal.

  37. Ari says:

    I was a straight A student until college where I earned a scholarship. If I had taken a break to have some fun prior to college, I probably would have completed it on time and with ample knowledge of the social scene. Instead I went crazy and partied like crazy and ended up very sick…lol.

    She has this awesome career that she should revel in while she is young and she seems to be very positive on the whole so she will probably hit school up again sooner than later.

  38. usagichan says:

    Erm, I don’t know if it’s just me but she’s really not all that. Especially in the last picture.

    She’s not really all that great of an actress and after the Harry Potter thing dies out, I am not sure if she will get any other role. So might as well work while she still can. She can go back to Uni whenever she wants, I suppose.

  39. Emily says:

    @ Lola – I was thinking the same exact thing! I found an old article where she said exactly that:

    “The actress who plays studious Hermione Granger in the hit wizard franchise has also been linked earlier to have been eying a number of prestigious colleges in both Britain and the US but has now refused to comment on the admission, as she wants to remain anonymous.

    “I just want to keep my college choice private for as long as I can. I probably sound like a paranoid nut, but I’m doing this because I want to be normal. I really want anonymity. I want to do it properly, like everyone else. As long as I don’t walk in, and see, like, Harry Potter posters everywhere, I’ll be fine,” she said.”


    Maybe being ‘normal’ got boring?

  40. KateNonymous says:

    The statements about Kate Middleton sound kind of random, as if (gasp!) she doesn’t care.

  41. Jojo says:

    Face it, she’s come to the age where she was like, what am I doing getting up every. single. day. at the crack of dawn and studying and walking to all these classes, when I already have millions of dollars.
    That “perfection” stuff is pure BS. You can tell how she tries to craft this sentence as she speaks and it turns into a run-on gobbeldy gook of a mess – “I just knew I was going to be beating myself up because I wasn’t going to be able to be doing the best that I knew that I could at school or in my job,” – Read that slowly. You can hear her brain reaching.

  42. cio says:

    to the people saying she got bored of normal life.. she is just fulfilling her obligations to the harry potter films (promotions, publicity etc).. then she’ll be back in september. it’s kind of a non-story

  43. Celtic Lady says:

    First and foremost, Emma Watson is a young woman with a good head on her shoulders! Lindsey Lohan she is NOT! Emma is extremely intelligent and knows what she wants. I admire her. What I DON’T do, is put her on a pedistal! She is a human being, and therefore prone to make some human mistakes. She is fortunate to have not made these public, whatever they might be.
    As far as Kate Middleton is concerned, I think the comment Emma made is one of understanding. Emma, like Kate, has chosen the path she is on and is very aware of the pressures and rewards of her decision. She knows it is the same for Kate, who has understood for quite a while, the pressures associated with her decision to accept the future King of England as her husband to be. I wish them both the best possible futures! I know they both will shine bright, but they may have to polish a “blemish” or two along the way! The will do so with grace!

  44. _** says:

    Emma is the last picture without makeup and in front of the sun and still look gorgeous.

    I think she’s smart, kind, friendly, beautiful and talented.

  45. Anonn says:

    Looks like she found out American college doesn’t require just one paper for a grade. You have to be in class most of the time with constant assignments unlike the UK… I’m sick of Brits thinking their schooling is harder than the US, when you can just long-wind your way through passing with one long rambling paper that no one reads.

  46. Emily says:

    She looks really hot in that last pic.

  47. JenJen says:

    Didn’t she complain about not enough $$$ for Harry Potter? Why would one fiddle with education?

  48. erika says:

    i don’t necessarily think she’s going in lohans direction but it cracks me up all these celebs in “ivy league” colleges at first u think …ohhh she’s going to ivy league then find it’s for liberal arts and she’s going for theater then i just LMAO oohh that must be really tough. it’s not like she doing a natalie portman who studied psychology and actually wrote papers that were published

  49. erika says:

    also i’m glad to see all the girls on here are so worried about education. aiming for reality star are we? good to see young ppl today have goals. i mean why aim for rocket scientist or doctor or making a difference in the world when u can be a reality star f*ck up with 20 plastic surgeries under your belt by 19. i can see why more ppl are opting not to have kids afraid they will turn out like u morons