Hermione would be so proud of Emma Watson. The now 25-year-old actress is really putting serious thought into the kind of person she wants to be, and how she can inspire others to broaden their perspectives. Watson recently filmed two major movies ("Beauty and the Beast" and "The Circle") and she told feminist icon bell hooks she plans to take the next year off from acting to focus on personal development and feminism outreach.
Watson, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador who promotes gender equality through the HeForShe movement, talked to the "Feminism is for Everybody" author for Paper magazine.
Here's the part where the actress talks about taking a breather from Hollywood:
hooks: As part of your efforts for activism and for self-growth, you're taking a year away from acting. That's a big decision.
Watson: I'm taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one. I know that you read a book a day. 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. I'm doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own. I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I'm on. I'm reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.
hooks: You're kind of homeschooling yourself. The good thing is that studying in a more institutionalized way -- you're not foreclosing that. You have time. And now, you can reach out to people like Gloria Steinem and bell hooks.
Watson: It's been amazing. I've been doing a lot of that. I want to listen to as many different women in the world as I can. That's something that I've been doing on my own, through the UN, the HeForShe campaign, and my work generally. This January, our HeForShe IMPACT champions are ten CEOs who for the first time will be releasing to the media what their companies look like internally. So how many CEOs are male or female, the gender wage gap. We'll be making all of these statements completely transparent, which is huge. It's never been done before. So big companies like Vodafone, Unilever and Tupperware will be standing up to the media and really acknowledging the issues within their own companies and talking about how they are planning to address these issues as HeForShe IMPACT champions. I'm very interested and excited to see how that works out. I'll also take another field trip in the next two or three months. We are organizing a HeForShe arts week, a university tour, and launching the HeForShe website. It's a lot. There's a lot to do.
Well, wow! As Hooks responded, it certainly sounds like a lot and may not leave a lot of downtime. But Watson still has to promote her movies in the next year (including the much-anticipated "Beauty and the Beast" movie, which comes out March 17, 2017) and she'll probably still go to music festivals like she normally does, 'cause it's not like you have to choose between Feminist and Fun Person. Still, props to Emma Watson for continuing to use her (magical) powers for good.
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