A selfie with Emma Watson is worth all the Galleons in Gringotts to a Muggle—but don’t bank on getting one anytime soon.
In an interview in the new issue of Vanity Fair, the actress explains she has a strict no-selfie policy with fans. Her reason: She wants to create boundaries and a semblance of privacy for herself against the Potter fandom that she was thrown into at the impressionable age of 11.
She explained to Vanity Fair how intense the fandom can get:
“I have met fans who 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. I’d walk down the red carpet and go into the bathroom.
I had on so much makeup and these big, fluffy, full-on dresses. I’d
put my hands on the sink and look at myself in the mirror and say,
‘Who is this?’ I didn’t connect with the person who was looking back
at me, and that was a very unsettling feeling. I was finding this fame
thing was getting to a point of no return.”
One of the ways she dealt with the crippling anxieties caused by fame at a young age: Saying no to selfies.
“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not,” Watson told the mag. “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.”
(Ironically, the actress also stars in the upcoming film The Circle about an all-seeing and sinister social media company.)
But don’t fret, Potterheads—the 26-year-old isn’t averse to talking to fans. Instead of a selfie, she offers those who approach her something better than a picture: a conversation.
“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,” she says. But Watson adds that, shockingly, many turn down her offer if it’s sans photo.
“I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact,” she says. “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.”
What a Gryffindor move…
Watson, who is currently promoting her role as Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, covers Vanity Fair’s new issue on stands starting March 7. Read her full interview on VanityFair.com now. Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 15.
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