Have you ever Googled “Emma Watson stalker”? No wonder she has to be careful. If you happen see the “Beauty and the Beast” star out and about, and ask her for a photo, don’t be offended if she says no. She’s not being rude, she’s just protecting herself. While most fans — even obsessed Harry Potter fans — are harmless and kind, there are some creepy peeps out there with boundary issues.
Watson is not the only star to deal with that downside of fame, but she did explain to Vanity Fair that saying no to selfies was a choice she made along the way, to establish her own boundaries:
“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. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.” She will, however, offer alternatives to photos. “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. When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example.”
And it may be different if it’s a planned event like a film premiere, or whatnot, where it’s already public information that she’ll be attending, as opposed to a way for a stalker to track her.
The Vanity Fair reporter told Watson he had seen other actors like Reese Witherspoon pose with fans on the street, but then he acknowledged “suddenly it becomes clear that the fans of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ are different from Harry Potter fans.” As Watson explained:
“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.”
She almost gave up acting when she went to Brown University, saying she found “this fame thing was getting to a point of no return.” But if the attention bothers her so much, why keep acting? Here’s her answer:
“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. 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.”
Well said. Most fans understand her position — and Hermione and Belle would likely approve of her choices. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in theaters on Friday, March 17.
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