Thank goodness for Emma Watson. Without her, we just might believe all young starlets are destined for a downward spiral once the pressures of fame become to great. Look at Lindsay Lohan, who went from the little girl we loved in "The Parent Trap," to the teenager we wanted to be in "Mean Girls," to a woman who seems lost to us. But that's not Emma's path. The 20-year-old "Harry Potter" star opened up to Marie Claire in their December issue, and, wow, let's just say that her Hollywood philosophy is a big breath of fresh air.
"I do things in my own way, but I've never felt any need to rebel," Emma told the magazine. "To be honest, I've always had far too much freedom. I had a job when I was 10. I started living on my own when I was 17 or 18. I've earned my own money; I've traveled the world. What would I rebel against?"
Case in point? She made the choice last year to attend Brown University instead of furthering her acting career. After finding her feet freshman year and making a close-knit group of girl friends, Emma told Marie Claire earlier this year that she was eager to return to college in the fall.
"Brown has a real sense of community, and people are very protective of me," she said. "They really look out for me; they want me to feel like I'm part of it. I threw my 20th birthday party at Brown, and I didn't even have to say to anyone not to put pictures on Facebook. Not a single picture went up. That was when I knew I'd found a solid group of friends, and I felt like I belonged."
The highest-earning young actress in Hollywood also addressed how "Harry Potter" has changed her life. She almost left the film series a couple of times over the past decade, but definitely doesn't regret sticking with the films. "I'm glad I saw it through to the end; I played that character from the start, and I wanted to finish what I started. It felt very satisfying that I had completed Hermione's journey," she said.
But, oh, how she wanted that pixie haircut so much sooner! Emma said that she'd wanted to chop off her hair since she was 16, but due to contract restrictions she had to maintain her Hermione haircut until filming finished. It didn't take too long after that (about two months, to be exact) for her to cut it all off.
"I just needed a change," Emma said. "It was quite symbolic for me. It's very short; it was buzzed at the back and on the sides. And it's really liberating that I can walk out without thinking about it."
There's no word in the Marie Claire story about what's next for Emma, or what her plans will be after college. There's no mention of whether she will or won't continue her acting career, or whether she'll pursue one in fashion. But there almost doesn't need to be. Emma Watson has been killing it for the past decade, and whatever she decides to do, we have faith that she'll be successful at it.
Do you think Emma Watson is a good Hollywood role model?