Emma Watson has been famous ever since she was cast in the “Harry Potter” movies at age nine. Now she’s 25-years-old, has several movies in the can — and says it’s time to take a break.
The former Hermione Granger is quitting acting for a year, she says, to focus on her own personal growth. In recent years, she has emerged as a leading cultural figure in the gender equality realm, and wants to focus on those efforts for the rest of 2016 and beyond.
“I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things,” Watson tells feminist icon bell hooks in an interview with Paper. “My own personal development is one.”
Unfortunately, Watson will be robbing her fans of seeing her face on the big screen beyond the just-released “Regression” and upcoming films “The Circle” and “Beauty and the Beast.” So, what will she be doing with her time instead? Apparently, reading a lot.
“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,” Watson explains. “I’m doing a huge amount of reading and study, just on my own.”
Through her comments, you can tell that Watson is taking her sabbatical very seriously. She considered whether the best way to advance her feminist efforts was to spend the year doing general studies at college, and also thought about spending the time lecturing — but ultimately, she has decided to simply create her own curriculum. “I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies,” she explains. “Then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading.”
If you want to help support Watson as she takes her time away from Hollywood, you can join her feminist book club or keep an eye on her HeForShe campaign. Oh yeah, there’s also that little UN ambassador side-gig she took on in 2014.
“I’m on my journey with this and it might change,” Watson tells fans who might miss her, while being quick to point out that their shared feminist efforts do seem to be making progress. “I can tell you that what is really liberating and empowering me through being involved in feminism, is that for me the biggest liberation has been that so much of the self-critiquing is gone.”