Emma Watson is taking a year off acting, which is exciting for only one reason: she’ll be focusing on her role as UN Ambassador and her new book club, Our Shared Self.
In an interview with bell hooks in Paper, she elaborated:
“I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really,” she said. “My own personal development is one. I know 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 I was on,” she continued. “I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.”
Honestly, the entire interview is fantastic and you owe it to yourself to check it out. And worry not — while we’re all going to go through Watson withdrawal, we won’t technically notice her absence until The Circle and Beauty and the Beast (which she stars in) comes out next year. And in the meantime, she’ll be navigating the ins and outs of the media which, she admits, can be the worst. (My words, not hers.)
“I feel like I have to be quite vigilant,” she revealed. “It’s made me sad at times. I feel that fear of am I looking at this from all angles, how can this be interpreted, how can it be taken out of context? But I do have a lot to learn and should be wary. I think that it’s really difficult to communicate through the media and through that medium sometimes.”
And, like, preach. But full stop: it’s terrific that Emma talked to bell hooks — a feminist, activist, and woman of colour — who has perspective on what Emma Watson doesn’t. To be honest, more conversations like these need to be had (and read), so we can start seeing feminism from all sides — ex. that white feminism helps no one, and we need to ensure we’re working within a space that allows for equal representation and doesn’t prioritize the rights of white women over anybody else.
So more of this, every person and magazine, please and thank you.