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Emma Watson Revealed Why She Hasn’t Acted in Nearly Five Years

Emma Watson had the world at her feet after the final Harry Potter movie hit theaters in 2011. With all eyes on what she would do next, the years that followed saw her star in a few hugely successful films: The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012, The Bling Ring in 2013, and Beauty and the Beast in 2017. Watson wrapped Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated adaptation of Little Women the year after that, but she hasn’t acted since. What happened? Has the young actress left Hollywood behind for good? In a new interview, Watson sheds light on why she decided to step back from the limelight and whether or not she sees a return to acting in her future.

Child star

It’s no secret that being a child actor isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Finding fame and fortune before you even hit puberty is extremely challenging and very hard work. But Emma Watson was not just your average young actor. At nine years old she, along with her co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, became the star of what would become one of the most successful cinematic franchises of all time. And it didn’t come without its sacrifices.

Haunted by Hermione?

In her most recent interview, Watson hints that she wasn’t really all that happy with where her career went after Harry Potter. She has been open before about being worried that she would be typecast after playing Hermione Granger; she even took on various “wild child” roles in an attempt to branch out. And yet many people still wanted to see her play the bookworm instead.

Rumors of leaving showbiz

Watson’s most recent major movies were Beauty and the Beast and Little Women, and in both of them she played a character who was more like Hermione than not. Fans also noticed that the actress wasn’t on the press tour for Little Women while the rest of the ensemble cast was, leading to rumors that she might be thinking about retiring from acting. But in reality, Watson had been harboring doubts about her career long before Little Women.

Emma Watson

Watson told Porter magazine in 2015 that life on the set Harry Potter gave her something of an identity crisis. 25 years old at the time, she remarked, “[I’ve] spent more than half of my life pretending to be someone else. While my contemporaries were dyeing their hair and figuring out who they were I was figuring out who Hermione was and how best to portray her.”