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Emma Watson is "passionate about having a private identity".


The 'Beauty and the Beast' star grew up in the spotlight and likes to keep her personal life separate from her work so she can keep an air of mystery about herself and "do her job well".


She said: "It's one of the things that I struggle with because of the three of us - Dan [Radcliffe], Rupert [Grint], and I - were kids when we got cast in this fairytale series, and what happened to us was kind of a fantasy story in itself. Outside of the movies. So the story of my life has been of public interest, which is why I've been so passionate about having a private identity.


"When I step into a character, people have to be able to suspend their disbelief; they have to be able to divorce me from that girl. And not having everyone know every single intimate detail of my entire life is part of me trying to protect my ability to do my job well. Generally, I've been fortunate, like when Sofia Coppola offered me a role in The Bling Ring, which was so wonderfully different. Artists have given me a lot of freedom - have been able to imagine me in other ways - but it's something I am aware of, for sure."


And the 27-year-old actress understands she is under "a certain level of scrutiny" and admits it can be "overwhelming" at times.


Speaking to Jessica Chastain for Interview magazine: "I know that I'm under a different microscope, a certain level of scrutiny, which I find really hard at times. And sometimes the fear of doing things is overwhelming. I get incredibly overwhelmed, and sometimes feel hemmed in by that, afraid of that. But I know that if I live in that fear, then my life as an artist, as a human being, really, is over. Ultimately, it will silence me, and it will silence what is in me - which I have yet to explore and uncover. People couldn't believe it when, after Harry Potter, I was like, 'I'm going to school.'


"Essentially, I took five years out to study, doing only a few smaller projects, and, to a lot of people, it seemed like I was passing up a lot of opportunities. I received a lot of angry phone calls. But I needed the space to go and explore who I was, without being under the microscope ... As you say, I loved being able to make mistakes. To be able to step away was pretty key."







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